We are quickly approaching the Chinese New Year, which begins on January 28th and will initiate the year of the rooster. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Chinese zodiac, each year represents a different animal sign from a rotating 12-year cycle.
Anyway, moving on. One way London celebrates the Chinese New Year is with the Magical Lantern Festival, and damn, is it magical. It’s a fusion of art, heritage, and culture, and it features (you guessed it) lanterns, and lots of them. This year’s theme is ‘Explore the Silk Road,’ paying homage to the ancient trade route by the same name that connected Europe with ancient China.
Your journey on the Silk Road begins with a 50-foot lantern of London’s Houses of Parliament. From there, you will experience magnificent works of lantern art that explore the vastly diverse cultures of Europe, Central Asia, Arabia, Egypt, Persia, India, and Ancient China. It isn’t all culture and art here, though. There will be a whole entertainment area as well, featuring food from a multitude of ethnicities, a refreshing ice lounge, an ice-rink, 3D lantern photo booths, virtual reality video games, Chinese bamboo lantern riddles, and a mini funfair.
Basically what we’re saying, is go buy your tickets already. Weekday tickets are £16.50 ($20.33) in advance, and £18.50 ($22.79) day of. Weekends are £18 ($22.18) in advance and £20 ($24.64) day of. The ice-rink will be an additional £9.50 ($11.71) per 40-minute session. They have child and group rates as well, so bring the whole family. We’ll see you there.