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London Gems: 2016 Magical Lantern Festival

Chinese New Year celebrations may be over, but there is a secret place in London where you can relive them all over again until 6 March. Tucked away in Chiswick House & Gardens, the Magical Lantern Festival is an extravaganza of lights, culture, music and art. It takes you on a magical journey through gardens’ hidden paths exploring various themes and revealing 50 giant artistic lantern installations.

Magical-Lantern-Festival-London
Without going to China, festival visitors can explore 2000-year tradition of celebrating the arrival of the lunar new year. Something I didn’t know before coming here is that in China lantern making has turned into a true craftsmanship. Reflecting rich Chinese cultural heritage lanterns became more and more intricate and ornate, often depicting large-scale dragons, members of the animal kingdom or famous landmarks.

Beautiful water lilies look like they are floating in garden’s fountain
Magical-Lantern-Festival-London
Magical-Lantern-Festival-London
To mark the Year of the Monkey 2016, a Mount Huaguo lantern with an illuminated waterfall will provide the fairytale setting for an intricate recreation of popular Chinese fable, The Monkey King.
Magical-Lantern-Festival-London
Magical-Lantern-Festival-London
Magical-Lantern-Festival-London
What Chinese festival would be without cuttest pandas
Magical-Lantern-Festival-London
Magical-Lantern-Festival-London
Magical-Lantern-Festival-London
Magical-Lantern-Festival-London
Magical-Lantern-Festival-London
Oversized 
mushrooms, plants and flowers
Magical-Lantern-Festival-London
Magical-Lantern-Festival-London
  Festival’s breathtaking centerpiece – a 66-metre-long dragon
Magical-Lantern-Festival-London
Intricate light arches create an atmosphere of magic
Magical-Lantern-Festival-London
Magical-Lantern-Festival-London
Magical-Lantern-Festival-London
Born in the Year of Snake according to Chinese zodiac, I had to take this photo!
Magical-Lantern-Festival-London
Magical-Lantern-Festival-London
    Larger than life Terracotta Army lantern
Magical-Lantern-Festival-London
May be not Chinese but still my favorite Nutcracker
Magical-Lantern-Festival-London
Magical-Lantern-Festival-London
Magical-Lantern-Festival-LondonThe Magical Lantern Festival is visually spectacular and its beautifully sculpted life-size installations leave you breathless. So if you are living or visiting London, hurry up and get the tickets here before the Festival ends on 6 March.

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