Back in late February we made a trip up to Edinburgh for the 6 Nations game between Scotland and England.

We were lucky that this trip also coincided with the last weekend of the ‘Giant Lanterns of China‘ exhibition at Edinburgh Zoo.

Edinburgh’s association with Sichuan Province in China is down to the zoo’s main attractions, Tian Tian (Sweetie) and Yang Guang (Sunshine), the only giant pandas in the UK, who were born in Sichuan. 150 artisans from the province were commissioned to create the display, with installation for the event starting all the way back in September.

With the animals tucked away in bed for the night, the lanterns are the only attraction open in the allotted time slots, but they certainly didn’t disappoint! The parade of light stretched over a mile round the winding paths of the zoo, with animals, birds, flowers and mythical creatures vying for attention at every stage. 

Some statistics about the event:

  • There are 469 lanterns in total
  • 16,000 metres of silk and 20,000 low energy lights were used
  • The biggest lantern on display is the 19 foot tall, 115 foot long Chinese Dragon
  • It took an estimated 25,000 hours of work from 150 craftsman to make the lanterns
  • The display includes 30 giant pandas, 25 flamingos, 20 penguins, 15 snails and even a giant armadillo!

‘Giant Lanterns of China’ at Edinburgh Zoo | Photographs

Giant Lanterns of China at Edinburgh Zoo - Entrance

Quite a Welcome

Giant Lanterns of China at Edinburgh Zoo - Traditional Lanterns

Traditional Lanterns

Giant Lanterns of China at Edinburgh Zoo - Dragon!

The giant dragon

Giant Lanterns of China at Edinburgh Zoo - Chimpanzee

Chimpanzee

Giant Lanterns of China at Edinburgh Zoo - Peacock

Peacock

Giant Lanterns of China at Edinburgh Zoo - Armadillo

Crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside! Armadillo 🙂

Giant Lanterns of China at Edinburgh Zoo - Pandas amongst bamboo

Pandas amongst bamboo. Our favourite part

Giant Lanterns of China at Edinburgh Zoo - Flamingos

Flamingos

Giant Lanterns of China at Edinburgh Zoo - Dragons

Here be dragons

Giant Lanterns of China at Edinburgh Zoo - Walkway

The entrance walkway

Giant Lanterns of China at Edinburgh Zoo - Close up flamingo

Close up flamingo

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