China's Silk Road hits London for Lunar New Year

Thomson Reuters

London's annual Magical Lantern Festival has again transformed the historic gardens of Chiswick House to celebrate the Lunar New Year.

This year the Silk Road was the theme of the festival, which opened on Wednesday night, January 18th.

The normally tranquil neo-classical gardens now boast 60,000 light bulbs in 1,500 traditional Chinese lantern installations replicating a journey along the ancient Silk Road, past ancient Rome's Colosseum, the Egyptian pyramids and a 49 foot sculpture of London's Houses of Parliament.

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

"The Silk Road is a link between China and the Western countries for a thousand years already," said the show's designer Ian Xiang of Weli Creative.

"And now the Silk Road is reviving, so that is what is this Magical Lantern Festival Silk Road is representative of a a revival of Silk Road. So you can find loads of the famous stories and landmarks along the Silk Road, for example, stuff from modern London, across Europe, Middle East, central Asia back to ancient China," he added.

For 2,000 years people in China have been making delicate silk lanterns, symbolizing new beginnings, letting go of old grudges and good fortune.

The 29-day-long festival of light and color includes a combination of both traditional lanterns and the latest technology, including virtual reality.