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Lantern Festival


While my husband and I lived in London, England I tried to take every opportunity to experience the unique life abroad. A three-month assignment turned into two years, and I am so very grateful. I traveled to several countries while I was there and had many unforgettable experiences. The flights were short stints and affordable from London. I also wanted to explore my surroundings. I joined museums and galleries; I took the local transit around the city and occasionally we rented car for farther destinations.

One of the early events I attended was the Lantern Festival. It was London’s first magical lantern festival celebrated the Chinese New Year – the year of the Monkey (2016). London was chosen to host this amazing festival of light, due to its status as the multicultural centre of the Western World.

The festival featured a 66-metre Chinese dragon (the highlight for me) as well as 50 giant hand sculpted lanterns at Chiswick House Gardens.

This festival was so fitting at this location because the former owner of Chiswick House, the Sixth Duke of Devonshire kept exotic animals in the gardens in the 19th century. There was an Enchanted Forest with a Tree of Life, illuminated oversized mushrooms, plants and flowers all around it. The giant lotus flowers opened and closed and reflected their brilliance on the water. 

The festival recognizes China’s 2000-year heritage and provided a unique, cultural experience marking the 15th day of the Lunisolar year’s first month and the last day of the Lunar New Year celebration. China and Asian countries honour their deceased ancestors every year at this time and this celebration represents reconciliation, peace and forgiveness.

Editor’s Note: If you are interested in purchasing any of Rita’s photography you will find her contact information on the right sidebar.

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