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    Chinese Lantern Festival

  • Recurring weekly on Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
  • Dates:
    November 16, 2016 - January 1, 2017
  • Time:
    5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
  • Admission:
    $15 - $25
  • Location:
  • Address:
    1228 Hunter Mill Rd., Vienna, VA 22182
  • Phone:
    (703) 757-6222

Visitors will enjoy 800 hand-crafted lanterns made by a master of the craft in Zigong, China, the center of China's lantern tradition. Fourteen artisans will travel to Fairfax County to set up the lanterns that will be displayed throughout the zoo. Festival runs November 16, 2016 through January 1, 2017.

We call these "lanterns", but make no mistake - these are not hand-held, candle-lit lamps. From humble beginnings of silk and paper, the Chinese lantern has evolved into the wondrous shapes and sizes of the Chinese Lantern Festival. Enter a world of illuminated panda bears, lions, monkeys, and dinosaurs. 

History, prehistory and myth blend in a nighttime dreamscape of electrically-lit scenes. Many are animated: Animal heads turn. Dinosaurs blink, open their mouths and growl. People love it, stopping to take in each vista, browse interpretive panels, and photograph the largest assemblage of such works outside China. 

Each lantern is made by masters of the craft in Zigong, China's center of lantern heritage. Their custom work means lanterns can be built to fit and take advantage of a site's natural features (hills, ponds).