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china magic lantern festival (0 comments)
for over a month the luno festival
took place on the donauinsel. and we payed it a visit. we got there around 20:00 o'clock, when it was already dark, and we had three hours to see all the attractions on display there. the front entrance is a huge impressive gate[001-005,132-133,136-147] with two dragons on each side in front of it, and loads of carps on the other side. that was a really monumental start for the festival.
we decided to walk in a clockwise circle, so our next object was a tea pot[006-007,117], with tea cups, bottles, and pots. everything was so bright and colourful and big. really amazing and notable.
then we came to a really huge temple[008-010] that was partially made, and totally covered in china spoons, plates, bowls and other pottery - wow.
also very beautiful were big statues showing all the chinese signs of the zodiac[011-016,114-116], like tiger, rabbit, ox, rat, pig, horse, etc. i especially liked the tiger.
a little candy house was also on display, as were pandas[018-020,065-066,093-094,112,127-131,135]. actually pandas were all over this place, be it as lanterns or statues, or even as masks, one could put on there.
then there was a huge group of monkeys[021-023,113] - 2016 is the year of the monkey - depicting a big monkey surrounded by lots of smaller ones and a peach. unfortunately i did not remember the story of the monkey and the peach.
very, very high was a reproduction of the vienna opera house[024-025,032,091-092], that really looked imposing. i was wondering how this could stand against stronger wind gusts or a storm. some parts on the side were already a little damaged, so the silk used will be worn out by the weather after a while it seems.
again big and impressive, a greek fountain[026-031,033-035,068] with several statues sitting around it. oversized music instruments and glamour accessories were also very beautiful to watch.
a total of 25 kilometres of silk was used to build over 30 structures that are lit by about 18.000 LED lights. it took over 100 workers four weeks to move and assemble almost 20 tons of bamboo, steel and silk. these are really remarkable numbers.
a cavalry[040-041,095] of eight riders was to form a guard of honour. with the lighting bottom-up this had a rather intimidating touch, but maybe that was on purpose. the riders had arms that were lifted and lowered by motors - the whole arrangement was rather creepy.
way more pleasing was the topic of the underwater fauna[047-050], showing fish and starfish, that built a tunnel that led to one of the side entrances. again very colourful and bright. but we did not leave yet, there was still lots to see.
like live performances on the open air stage[042-046], that showed traditional chinese theatre performances, with traditional masks, instruments and themes. those shown here also included fire breathing; great to watch.
after a while of watching we decided to have a little snack while the majority of the visitors were still watching the show. but it turns out the culinary variety was pretty limited as they were already closing down and most of the kitchen wares have already been cleaned. so we had to go with the left overs.
in return for the rather poor meal we then admired the huge chef[051-054] with all the stuff he cooked and prepared. they looked funny and totally reminded us of cartoon characters.
one more setup using only steel and led lights, was the swans and ballet dancers[055-056], which also included big diamond and sphere shapes.
another reproduction was shown, namely the temple of heaven[058-060,069], again quite tall and marvellous. the original temple is situated in beijing.
at kiosks[061-062] one could buy various items, from jade items to traditional chinese items like folding fans, wooden sculptures, kites, lanterns, etc. to more modern stuff like small clay figurines of doraemon (who actually is japanese) or american superheroes. quite the contrast, but they had clay pandas there too, so it blended in perfectly.
besides the opera house, there was another special for the show in vienna, a 20 metres high johann strauss[063-064] statue. the lighting of the blocks around the statue changed colours to the beat of a strauss waltz.
back to the chinese themes, were huge dragon lanterns[070-071], that revealed some 3d parts on them when we got closer to it. those lanterns were several metres high and looked very stunning.
a huge pot and a bottle[072,076-077,087,089-090], each one of several metres of height turned out to be made of tiny glass kegs. each one fixed with wire to a metal core. each one of the objects contained around 40.000 kegs - pretty crazy.
to me it seemed the venetian masks[073-075] were a little misplaced, but beautiful nonetheless.
then there was another really huge temple[078-086,088] with all kind of little characters outside, and lots of pillars with mask faces around it - maybe the chinese counterpart to the venetian masks? who knows.
an awe-inspiring sight was the very long dragon[096-110] that stood close to the danube river. my estimation was that it is between 80 and 100 metres in length; unfortunately i could not find any details about it. this one really was my favorite.
we almost had finished our round when there was an announcement that the festival will be closed soon, so we hurried to the aztec temple[118-126,134], all in dark green, with a huge god(dess) in the middle and several heads to the left and right of it.
almost the same green was a group of pandas around a very huge panda sitting in the middle and on top of a bamboo seat - very cute and lovely. chinese people really seem to dig pandas. but so do we, right? those cute and fluffy bears are just adorable.
then we were escorted to the exit by security guards who were already collecting all the people still on the venue and escorting them to the exit. so, like usually, we were among the last people leaving. but before leaving i took another few pictures of the carps and dragons at the exit. and i found out how dragons are born: a carp that could leap the falls of the yellow river at the dragon gate, would be transformed into a dragon. now that is important knowledge, and that is why the gate shows carps on one side, and dragons on the other side - mystery solved.
this was really a spectacular festival, totally worth the visit. the dimensions of some objects were gigantic, the level of detail was amazing, and the craft work was most impressive. we totally loved the chinese lantern festival.
a little side note: i used my tomtom watch (as described in my previous bLog-post) for gps tracking this time, and i was very pleased with the recorded track. very accurate and the device is not annoying, as it is on my wrist, and not dangling in front of me all the time as it was with my canmore g-porter gp-102+ that was strapped to my camera belt. what a nice device.