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Lantern Festival at Missouri Botanical Garden

Submitted by on May 11, 2012 – 12:50 amNo Comment

If you needed another reason to visit the Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, Missouri (map) here’s one: the Lantern Festival is May 26, 2012, through August 19, 2012.

The fest, titled “Art by Day, Magic by Night” showcases 26 huge and elaborate lanterns designed specifically for the festival and placed throughout the 79-acre garden. The artistic steel and silk lanterns depict characters and symbols from Chinese legend and culture — that’s one of them in the photo.

They range from 10-foot-tall towering terracotta warriors and Chinese opera masks to porcelain dragons rising from the garden’s fountains in honor of the Chinese zodiac’s Year of the Dragon in 2012. The three-story-high “Heavenly Temple” lantern is modeled after the famous Imperial temple in Beijing.

At night the Garden will host special events that feature the illuminated lanterns in a display of lights and colors on Thursdays through Sundays. Evening activities will include authentic Chinese acrobatic performances, tea ceremonies, and Chinese craft and art demonstrations including calligraphy, spun sugar candy creations, opera mask design and tea presentations.

Visitors can experience the quiet solitude of a Chinese garden with a stroll through the Margaret Grigg Nanjing Friendship Garden within the Missouri Botanical Garden. The garden, designed by a Chinese-born architect, was modeled after a scholar’s garden near Nanjing, St. Louis’ Chinese sister city. Plantings native to China including pines, bamboos, willows, forsythia, wisteria, lotuses and peonies are set among an ornate Chinese pavilion, a hand-carved white marble bridge and boulder-filled gold fish pond.

Opened in 1959, the Missouri Botanical Garden is the oldest public garden in the nation and counted among the Top Three public gardens in the world. Visitors attending the Lantern Festival also can enjoy the Garden’s other features which include a Boxwood garden; two rose gardens; a Children’s Garden; 28 demonstration gardens within the Kemper Center for Home Gardening, a Victorian garden, a recreated tropical rainforest within the Climatron geodesic dome and the largest authentic Japanese garden in North America.

For more information about St. Louis, go online.

(Photo courtesy of Explore St. Louis)

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