The Chinese Lantern Festival kicks off

Having previously visited Dallas and Los Angeles, the collection of 500 gigantic silk figures and other elements of Chinese folklore can be seen in the Parc del Fòrum up until the 15th of March

The Chinese Lantern Festival, an exhibition of 500 gigantic silk figures illuminated from the inside, is an attempt to acquaint the general public with aspects of this ancient culture. Created by hand by numerous artisans from China’s Szechuan province, the figures range from one to six metres in length and represent traditional Chinese symbols and motifs. The figures were all manufactured in China and transported to Barcelona by boat to be displayed in 9000 m2 of exhibition space in an attempt to offer visitors an insight into the traditions of one of the world’s oldest cultures through its lanterns and other folkloric elements.

The exhibition is divided into eight sections, one of which is a tribute to Catalan cultural heritage and includes pieces by Gaudí and Miró. The festival will also include a range of activities, such as Chinese lantern workshops, which will be held from Thursday to Saturday beginning on the 16th of January, and the celebration of the Chinese New Year, which will take place on the 19th of February. According to the Chinese calendar, the 19th of February this year signifies the beginning of year 4713, the Year of the Goat.

Lantern festivals are held in China to celebrate the end of the New Year festivities as well as in August, during the Festival of the Moon. The festivals has its origins in two legends, the first of which tells the story of the Jade-Emperor, who wished to burn down a village because the inhabitants had killed his favourite stork. The village inhabitants found out, however, and, in an effort to save themselves, lit up the village with red lanterns and fireworks in an attempt to make it look as though it was burning. According to the other legend, the origins of the tradition lie in a gesture of adoration towards Buddha and dates from the first century B.C.

Chinese Lantern Festival 

Dates: Until the 15th of March

Price: 18 euros

Place: Parc del Fòrum

More information, here

Publication date: Wednesday, 07 January 2015
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