Monday, August 14, 2006

Ontario's Chinese Lantern Festival

Last week I was lucky enough to travel to Toronto Ontario to attend a ticketing software conference for TBPAC. During the day it was all work, but on one of the evenings I attended the Chinese Lantern Festival at Ontario Place (Ontario Place is like a cross between Lowry Park Zoo and Adventure Island, without the animals). According to local travel magazines, the Chinese Lantern Festival of Ontario is the largest Chinese lantern festival of its kind outside of Asia.

In a word, this festival was … amazing.

It took a co-worker and I about 2.5 hours to experience the entire park and it may seem as if that is a long time to walk around and look at a bunch of fabric and wire with lights, but we could’ve spent a couple more hours experiencing the entire festival. As it is we missed out on much of the live entertainment and the Cinesphere 360 movie about China.

The lanterns mostly depicted figures from Chinese mythology and the theme of the dragon and the phoenix was highly represented, but there was also a lantern of the Great Wall (I estimate it was 20 feet high and maybe 70 feet long – I’m not talking about night lights here) and a 200-foot dragon that was mostly made of dishes. Yes, dishes. There was also a set of peacocks that was made out of 1” x 1” jars filled with colored liquid.

My co-worker remarked at the patience it must have taken the craftsmen to put these lanterns together and I answered that it must be no different than any other artist toiling for their art. I have witnessed other co-workers who put in a full week in administration here at TBPAC just to spend their nights rehearsing and fine-tuning their performances for a full run of a show here in the Shimberg. It is art.

And these lanterns were truly … ART.

- LeeAnn D.

1 comment:

Olivia said...

I too had the pleasure of taking in the Chinese Lantern Festival this past weekend. It was stunning to say the least! My only sadness of the day was that my batteries died in my camera, and the spares I had packed had lost their charge somehow. The dragons made from dishes was amazing, and so beautiful when it was lit up!

I'm happy for you that you were able to take in the festivities while visiting our area. :-)

The Funky Olive Shop