A Magical Start to Advent: Giant Lanterns of China at Edinburgh Zoo

134 Corstorphine Rd, Edinburgh EH12 6TS, UK

Every once in a while there's an event that comes along and nags at your curiosity, making you wonder if the experience will be as good as the promotional photos, The Giant Lanterns of China at Edinburgh Zoo was that very event for me. Growing up in Malaysia, I was used to events like Mid-Autumn Festival which involved many lanterns and was an event that brought the community together. Last night as I wandered through the zoo and observed people of all ages enjoying an evening out, it felt very much the same to me.

Yesterday was the 1st of December - the first day of advent - and attending the event was a magical way to start off the month. My friend James and I met beforehand to grab a bite to eat at @pizza, then caught a bus to the zoo.Upon arrival, we were greeted by a few lovely girls from Stripe Communications (thanks, Katherine and Lyndsey!) and then were allowed to freely wander through the zoo to snap as many photos as we liked. As we entered the exhibition, we were met by giant glowing flowers - which made me feel like I was in the world of Avatar.

 The trail was clearly marked out with white arrows on the ground and there was often staff lingering in case you needed any help. It would take quite a while to describe every aspect of the 25 installations, so I thought I'd choose 6 of my favourites to share with you.
Pandas: This was a favourite amongst most people! I particularly liked the panda cubs.

Pride of Lions - This installation was very striking and for a bit of fun an instrumental version of "Africa" played in the background.

Penguins: This was a really cute display, with various types of penguins. "Let it go" played in the background and it seemed to be one of the displays that really excited little children.
Peacocks: Some of the installations were dynamic and this one flashed.
Monkeys: The composition was just beautiful, and look at that baby!
Flamingos: This installation was beautiful, the flamingos were placed in the water and the reflections were stunning.

We finished the evening off with a delightful wander around the zoo's Christmas marketplace which included hand-made crafts from Chinese artisans, then we watched live entertainment at the outdoor theatre featuring Chinese performers.

To conclude, I thoroughly enjoyed my time at The Giant Lanterns of China and would recommend it to anyone. If you'd like to buy tickets to attend or find out more information here's the link: www.edinburghzoo.org.uk/giant-lanterns

Bye for now!

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