Heidi, aged 5, tells us about her family trip to Chiswick House to see the Magical Lantern Festival – in celebration of Chinese New Year.
It’s half-term this week and I had been looking forward to going to the Magical Lantern Festival for ages – because I have been learning about Chinese New Year at school, and I really wanted to see all the lanterns in real life.
I was born in the year of the tiger, my brother was born in the year of the dragon – and my new little sister was born this year – which is the year of the monkey. At school we have been making our own Chinese lanterns, drums, and I also made my Mummy and Daddy a card saying Happy New Year in Chinese – “KUNG HEI FAT CHOI”! When I got to the Magical Lantern Festival I met a Chinese lady and said this to her – but she didn’t understand so maybe I didn’t say it quite right?
When we got to the entrance to the Lantern Festival it was still day time so I wasn’t sure if we would see anything – but as we went through the gates it started to get dark and I could start to see all the light through the tress as we walked down the paths.
The man on the gate scanned our tickets and we started walking down a long path which was full of beautiful lanterns above our heads. I got a camera for Christmas and was really pleased I could use it to take lots of pictures.
After the lanterns we saw some monkeys and then lots of other animals, including pandas, giraffes, and zebras. We then got to a place where we could toast marshmallows on hot coals which was a real treat – but they were very sticky.
We kept walking and then around a corner there were some really pretty peacocks! It was really dark now so the lights were even more amazing.
We passed flamingos, ants, elephants, and even jelly fish – walking along the river (which was frozen) we could see the lights reflected in the ice and water. On the other side of the river was an amazing dragon lantern – it was almost as long as the river!
We then saw Cinderella and prince charming and her pumpkin coach – so there were lanterns which weren’t just about Chinese New Year, too.
We were nearly at the end and the last few lanterns were really pretty – there were all the animals for each of the Chinese years, and right at the end there was a pretty heart lantern with “Love” written in the middle. A nice man took a picture of us all together as my arm isn’t long enough to do selfies!
After we had finished at the festival we all went for a pizza before driving home. I had a really good time there – it was great to see real life lanterns after we had learned about them in school, and I hope we can go again next time when the lanterns come back to London.
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