The roots of the Chinese Lantern Festival can be traced back more than 2,000 years to the Western Han Dynasty. Trading on this tradition, last year a magical festival of lights glowed brightly throughout the holidays at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden. This year, the Moonlight Forest Lantern Art Festival returns, even bigger than before, Nov. 9-Jan. 12.
Along with last year’s themes reflecting nature, a children’s garden, and Chinese culture, two new themed areas have been added—“Polar Dreams,” with its penguins and sled dogs, and “Ocean Visions,” where exotic fish and a giant shark light the dark. In all, there will be more than 60 installations spread across the garden’s 127 acres.
The Arboretum has partnered with Tianyu Arts & Culture to bring the huge, elaborate lantern sculptures depicting everything from dragons and sea creatures to plants, architecture, and mythology back to SoCal. Festival attendees will also encounter Chinese acrobats, jugglers, and traditional dancers while strolling the grounds.