A lantern festival with all creations from China opened here at Dublin Zoo on Thursday night, drawing thousands of local visitors.
Entitled "Wild Lights", the lantern festival is the second edition of its kind co-organized by Dubin Zoo and Zigong VYA Creative Lantern Limited (Zigong VYA), a lantern company from Zigong, a city in China's southwest Sichuan province, which is famous for its lantern culture.
This year's lantern festival comprises four themes, namely Ocean of Light, with an entirely new cast of illuminated silk lanterns, inspired by the wonders of the life aquatic such as hammerhead sharks, colossal blue whales and dainty seahorses; Winter Wonderland, home to Arctic favourites such as polar bears and walruses; Celebrating China, bringing a flavour of the Orient; and The North Pole, home to Santa's workshop, a dazzling 16-metre-high silk Christmas tree and a host of festive displays.
All the creations displayed at the festival are designed, made, assembled and operated by Zigong VYA, said Luo Jieyou, a manager from the organization.
It took 50 days for 60 craftsmen to make these creations in China and another 45 days to have them assembled here at Dublin Zoo, he said, adding that over 50 tonnes of steel and tens of thousands of LEDs were used for making all the creations for the festival.
The response to the lantern festival from visitors including local residents and overseas tourists are very encouraging, said Emma Kiernan, Marketing Manager for Dublin Zoo.
She said over 100,000 tickets have been booked online prior to the opening of the festival which will last till Jan. 6, 2019.
Last year we sold over 200,000 tickets and this year we expect the number of visitors to the lantern show to be much higher than last year's based on the advance booking of the festival tickets online, she said.
Dublin Zoo and Zigong VYA has signed a four-year contract for holding the festival, said Luo, adding that his company has held a dozen of themed lantern shows across the world, mostly in developed countries.