SHARE A PICTURE THAT MEANS ILLUMINATION TO YOU
Last summer the Missouri Botanical Garden in Saint Louis featured a special exhibit of giant illuminated Chinese Lanterns. Awesome by day, they became awe-inspiring when they were illuminated after dark. The above lantern was created from re-used medicine bottles. The exhibit was a sellout every evening.
Thankfully, there are a lot of benches around the MOBOT grounds for foot-weary visitor who have completed the 2.5 mile trek around the grounds viewing all 26 lantern creations. The break was also necessary because we’re still in the midst of summer days, and the MAGIC can’t start until the sun has set which in garden time is about 8 pm. Also those in the know didn’t start showing up until shortly before eight. We had decided we weren’t going to repeat the entire trek around the garden, and we were just going to revisit a few of our favorites we wanted to see illuminated. Don’t forget you can enlarge any picture by clicking on it.
It was a great presentation and I encourage all who can to visit it — it will run up until August 19. Dining from 5:30 – 8:00 in the Sassafras Cafe/Visiter’s Center and from 6:00 – 10:00 at the The Lantern Festival Food Court in the Linnean Plaza.
If you’ll remember, yesterday’s post left us resting on a Victorian bench in Mr. Shaw’s front yard drinking Ice Mountain Water and catching cool breezes before starting on the second half of our trek through the second half of the Chinese Lantern Festival.
We begin with GODDESS BLESSING BUDDHA …
And move on to THE FIRST EMPEROR’S QUEST FOR IMMORTALITY …
Next up is an illustration of a fable about the creation of the Milky Way THE DOUBLE SEVENTH FESTIVAL – cowherd boy marries weaver girl without asking mom who is the Goddess. Goddess gets pissed and brings girl back to heaven. Boy keeps looking for her so mom creates a wide river (aka. The Milky Way) to keep them apart. But one night a year … the seventh night of the seventh moon … all the magpies on earth fly up to heaven to form a bridge so the two lovers can be united.
From heaven we encounter THE FLYING APSARAS …
The next stop is THE FOUR FACED BUDDHA … even though you can only see three.
THE BUTTERFLY LOVERS illustrates the century old Chinese version of Romeo and Juliet …
Next is a gigantic panoramic lantern NINE DRAGON MURAL …
THE HEAVENLY TEMPLE …
THE COLORFUL FLOWER … leads us to the Garden’s official Chinese Garden …
Then on to the BLISSFUL WEDDING that reminds me of a Chinese Small World.
Which brings us to the last lantern … QILIN which is a rare creature made up of many animal forms both real and mythical. The lantern Qilin is made up of many recycled glass bottles.
But this trek isn’t over yet … come back for the GRAND FINALE when the sun sets and the lanterns light up!
Well, since it took me two days to get through the 150 pictures I took during my four hour visit to the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Chinese Lantern Festival on Thursday … this post will not only a day late, but also be sent in two parts on two days.
The Lantern Festival is this summer’s featured attraction at the Garden, and on Thursday through Sunday is has special evening hours (6 to 10) where you can view the lanterns in both daylight … and once the sun sets with their own inner illumination. Oh, and by the way, these are not your ordinary hardware store lanterns, these are the same kind of massive illuminations that were created by Chinese artisans for the Summer Olympics in Beijing four-years ago.
You get an idea of what to expect when you drive into the Garden’s parking lot and come face to face with this block long dragon. (Note: you can view any photo in a large size by clicking by clicking on it … and still larger by clicking on it a second time.)
DRAGON EMBRACING THE PILLERS The Garden’s central fountain features a large dragon surrounded by four fish like dragons …
… at each corner of the reflecting pool.
LOTUS FLOWERS and LOTUS PONDS
The Garden’s Central Axis features a face off between two PORCELAIN DRAGONS …
Both dragons are made from porcelain plates, bowls, cups and saucers … about 45,000 to create each dragon.
This SAIL BOAT was made from reclaimed plastic bottles.
You’ll discover the PANDA’S PARADISE!
Who doesn’t like cute little pandas?
But even better than pandas, we noticed Mr. Shaw himself offering us a chance to sit down and take a break. In case you didn’t know, this is Mr. Shaw’s garden. He built it around his home, and when he was done enjoying it he left it to the people of Saint Louis to enjoy forever.
And what better place to take a break — the second half of our trek continues tomorrow.