Belgium’s Antwerp Zoo was transformed into a wonderland of lights, with the opening of a dazzling display of Chinese lanterns to celebrate the winter holiday season
The China Light festival has been coming to Belgium since 2014. Each year, Chinese artists transform the gardens of the zoo into a magical landscape of illuminated creatures, placed among the enclosures of the zoo’s regular inhabitants.
After dark, visitors can stroll through the zoo to admire the colourful light sculptures, which range from mythical dragons, lotus flowers to a giant blue whale.
The spectacle’s smaller figurines were created in China before being packed up and shipped to Antwerp, while larger sculptures such as the dragon were built on site in Belgium.
Traditionally Chinese lanterns are made of bamboo and lit with candles, but the figures in Antwerp are instead made of gauze on a wire frame, and lit with bulbs.
The festival of light is an age-old tradition in China. It is thought by some to have originated from a form of prayer for bountiful harvests. Antwerp zoo’s enchanting show will run until January 14, 2018.