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8 Nov 2019
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A beloved Lowcountry plantation has announced an exciting new illuminated attraction: Lights of Magnolia. It’s a world-class installation, joining the other festive light extravaganza, Holiday Festival of Lights, which I covered last time.  They both kick off on the same day  -  next Friday, November 15th. But unlike the Holiday Festival of Lights, which ends on December 31st, Lights of Magnolia will run all the way through March 15th.  

What is Lights of Magnolia?

  Also known as the Charleston Chinese Lantern Festival, Lights of Magnolia is a visual spectacle never seen before in this part of the world. It’s described as a “massive garden installation of LED light exhibits,” put on in partnership with the world famous Zigong Lantern Group from Zigong, China. According to their website, Zigong is the leading Chinese lantern festival in the world.  They’ve won numerous international awards, are the largest in China and the biggest lantern festival operating outside of China as well. Here is how they describe their work:

“Artisans build mgnificent lantern displays on-site, using a variety of materials including silk and chinaware.  They then illuminate all of our lanterns with environmentally-friendly and cost-effective LED lights. The famous pagoda is made of thousands of ceramic plates, spoons, saucers and cups knotted together by hand – always a visitor favorite.

Cultural Chinese lantern festivals began during the Han Dynasty of the Chinese Empire, when people believed that fire could ward off evil and bring blessings. The art of the lantern festival has evolved over centuries and is now a combination of traditional and modern materials with the ancient craft.”

Their installations are stunning works of art.  They are sure to be particularly beautiful on the famous grounds and gardens of Magnolia Plantation.  Lights of Magnolia's tagline is, "See America’s oldest public garden in a new light." Lights of Magnolia will cover 9 acres with 23 different themed lighted lantern displays.  Here’s a cool video of them installing Lights of Magnolia, including a gigantic fire-breathing dragon whose scales are made up of lovely ceramic plates.  

Where else have they been?

  Here are some other locations where Chinese Lantern Festivals have transformed the environs with lanterns and light:

  • The G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany;
  • Dallas Expo;
  • Gilroy Gardens in San Francisco;
  • The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland/Edinburgh Zoo;
  • Royal Longleat House: Wiltshire in the UK;
  • Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa;
  • Dublin Zoo, Ireland;
  • The City of Gaillac, France.

Lights of Magnolia will be open for walk-through tours, Wednesday through Sundays evenings, from 5:30 till 9:30.  It will be at Magnolia from November 15th through March 15th.  Food trucks will also be on site nightly. The official Lights of Magnolia website has plenty of details, photos and online ticket purchasing.  Here is Lights of Magnolia Facebook event page, as well as the Charleston Chinese Lantern Festival’s event page. So check out a lovely lighted event in one of the most beautiful gardens in the country.  And when you are looking for the best in luxury beach house rentals SC, be sure to give EP a call. All best, Lowcountry Lisa your Isle of Palms vacation blogger