The Magical lantern festival is all set to debut in Leeds Roundhay Park after its huge success in London last year. Illuminating Roundhay Park from November 25 to January 2 will be dragons the size of three buses and 40,000 bulbs used to create 30 handmade giant lanterns.
The festival is a combination of art, culture and heritage. While walking around the lantern trail visitors will celebrate Christmas and the Chinese New Year as well as the 2000 year old heritage of the Lantern festival. The trail will feature lanterns almost 20m wide.
The event also boasts of a separate entertainment and food area, a Santa’s Grotto, an outdoor-ice rink, mini fun fair and a virtual reality experience. The festival – run by Weli Creative – launched in London last year and attracted 110,000 people.
“Illuminating Roundhay Park from 25th November to 2nd January will be dragons the size of three buses and 40,000 bulbs used to create 30 handmade giant lanterns.”
Creative director and the festival’s co-founder Ian Xiang talked about the origins of the festival and what it represents. He said “Lantern festivals have been running for more than 2,000 years across Asia, but they are still new to the West. After the success of our first in London last year, he said we had to come to Yorkshire. Roundhay Park is an amazing place for us to illuminate and celebrate both Christmas and the upcoming Chinese New Year.
“Most of the lanterns are actually made in my hometown in China, so it makes me incredibly proud to see them come all this way across to the UK. This festival will show many people something they’ve never seen or experienced before. It has the potential to increase understanding of Chinese culture here in the UK in a way that is entertaining and, importantly, something that can be experienced as a family.”
It is now being held in Leeds in support of the Jane Tomlinson appeal. The appeal was set up by the amateur athlete and Leeds radiographer before her death in 2007. It funds cancer and children’s initiatives across the country.
Mike Tomlinson, Jane’s husband, said “It’s great to have the support for our charity from this completely new and exciting festival for Yorkshire. The plans for it look amazing and hopefully it’s something that can run long into the future.”
Tickets are now up for sale and are available on www.magicallanterns.uk, priced at £12.50 adults, £10.50 concessions, £8.50 children and £38 for a family ticket.