China's Silk Road hits London for Lunar New Year

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.

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London's Magical Lantern Festival
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London's Magical Lantern Festival

Visitors walk through an illuminated road during the Magical Lantern Festival in London, England on January 18, 2017. The festival takes place from 19th January until 26th February of 2017.

(Photo by Ray Tang/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Illuminated decorations are seen during the Magical Lantern Festival in London, England on January 18, 2017. The festival takes place from 19th January until 26th February 2017.

(Photo by Ray Tang/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

A woman takes a picture of a corridor of light sculptures during a photo call to promote the Magical Lantern Festival at Chiswick House Gardens in west London on January 18, 2017. The Silk Road was chosen as the festival theme for 2017 due to its historical significance. A very current topic of huge cultural importance as it spread trade and culture between East and West dating back to the Western Han Dynasty of China in 206 BC.

(DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)

A visitor poses for a photo in front of an illuminated giant panda decoration during the Magical Lantern Festival in London, England on January 18, 2017. The festival takes place from 19th January until 26th February 2017.

(Photo by Ray Tang/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Visitors walk through an illuminated road during the Magical Lantern Festival in London, England on January 18, 2017. The festival takes place from 19th January until 26th February of 2017.

(Photo by Ray Tang/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Illuminated far east decorations are seen during the Magical Lantern Festival in London, England on January 18, 2017. The festival takes place from 19th January until 26th February 2017.

(Photo by Ray Tang/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

An illuminated woman and a horse decorations are seen during the Magical Lantern Festival in London, England on January 18, 2017. The festival takes place from 19th January until 26th February 2017.

(Photo by Ray Tang/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Illuminated panda decorations are seen during the Magical Lantern Festival in London, England on January 18, 2017. The festival takes place from 19th January until 26th February 2017.

(Photo by Ray Tang/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

An illuminated far east decoration is seen during the Magical Lantern Festival in London, England on January 18, 2017. The festival takes place from 19th January until 26th February 2017.

(Photo by Ray Tang/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

An illuminated panda decoration is seen during the Magical Lantern Festival in London, England on January 18, 2017. The festival takes place from 19th January until 26th February 2017.

(Photo by Ray Tang/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Illuminated far east decorations are seen during the Magical Lantern Festival in London, England on January 18, 2017. The festival takes place from 19th January until 26th February 2017.

(Photo by Ray Tang/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Illuminated far east decorations are seen during the Magical Lantern Festival in London, England on January 18, 2017. The festival takes place from 19th January until 26th February 2017.

(Photo by Ray Tang/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Illuminated sunflower decorations are seen during the Magical Lantern Festival in London, England on January 18, 2017. The festival takes place from 19th January until 26th February of 2017.

(Photo by Ray Tang/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Illuminated palace decorations are seen during the Magical Lantern Festival in London, England on January 18, 2017. The festival takes place from 19th January until 26th February 2017.

(Photo by Ray Tang/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

An illuminated genie decoration is seen during the Magical Lantern Festival in London, England on January 18, 2017. The festival takes place from 19th January until 26th February of 2017.

(Photo by Ray Tang/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Visitors attend the Magical Lantern Festival in London, England on January 18, 2017. The festival takes place from 19th January until 26th February of 2017.

(Photo by Ray Tang/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Visitors walk through a Chinese light corridor during a photocall to promote the Magical Lantern Festival at Chiswick House Gardens in west London on January 18, 2017. The Silk Road was chosen as the festival theme for 2017 due to its historical significance. A very current topic of huge cultural importance as it spread trade and culture between East and West dating back to the Western Han Dynasty of China in 206 BC.

(DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)

Light sculptures depicting central Asian traditions are pictured during a photo call to promote the Magical Lantern Festival at Chiswick House Gardens in west London on January 18, 2017. The Silk Road was chosen as the festival theme for 2017 due to its historical significance. A very current topic of huge cultural importance as it spread trade and culture between East and West dating back to the Western Han Dynasty of China in 206 BC.

(DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)

A woman takes a picture with her smartphone of a light corridor during a photocall to promote the Magical Lantern Festival at Chiswick House Gardens in west London on January 18, 2017. The Silk Road was chosen as the festival theme for 2017 due to its historical significance. A very current topic of huge cultural importance as it spread trade and culture between East and West dating back to the Western Han Dynasty of China in 206 BC.

(DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)

Light sculptures depicting a Chinese opera character is pictured during a photo call to promote the Magical Lantern Festival at Chiswick House Gardens in west London on January 18, 2017. The Silk Road was chosen as the festival theme for 2017 due to its historical significance. A very current topic of huge cultural importance as it spread trade and culture between East and West dating back to the Western Han Dynasty of China in 206 BC.

(DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)

A light sculpture depicting Aladdin is pictured during a photo call to promote the Magical Lantern Festival at Chiswick House Gardens in west London on January 18, 2017. The Silk Road was chosen as the festival theme for 2017 due to its historical significance. A very current topic of huge cultural importance as it spread trade and culture between East and West dating back to the Western Han Dynasty of China in 206 BC.

(DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)

A group of friends take a picture together in front of light sculptures depicting architecture of the Tang dynasty during a photo call to promote the Magical Lantern Festival at Chiswick House Gardens in west London on January 18, 2017. The Silk Road was chosen as the festival theme for 2017 due to its historical significance. A very current topic of huge cultural importance as it spread trade and culture between East and West dating back to the Western Han Dynasty of China in 206 BC.

(DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)

A light sculpture depicting an elephant is pictured during a photo call to promote the Magical Lantern Festival at Chiswick House Gardens in west London on January 18, 2017. The Silk Road was chosen as the festival theme for 2017 due to its historical significance. A very current topic of huge cultural importance as it spread trade and culture between East and West dating back to the Western Han Dynasty of China in 206 BC.

(DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)

Light sculptures are pictured during a photo call to promote the Magical Lantern Festival at Chiswick House Gardens in west London on January 18, 2017. The Silk Road was chosen as the festival theme for 2017 due to its historical significance. A very current topic of huge cultural importance as it spread trade and culture between East and West dating back to the Western Han Dynasty of China in 206 BC.

(DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)

Light sculptures are pictured during a photo call to promote the Magical Lantern Festival at Chiswick House Gardens in west London on January 18, 2017. The Silk Road was chosen as the festival theme for 2017 due to its historical significance. A very current topic of huge cultural importance as it spread trade and culture between East and West dating back to the Western Han Dynasty of China in 206 BC.

(DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)

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"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.

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