Access explores the Magical Lantern festival

At 6pm on a Thursday night Chiswick House & Gardens normally stands empty, but not tonight.

This is the second night of the Magical Lantern, a month-long festival of illumination showcasing a collection of unique, hand-crafted Chinese lanterns.

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Each lantern was created using silk and steel and each depicts a very specific image, from the Chiswick House camellia flower to a 66m-long Chinese dragon.

The festival, which is comprised of around 50 installations and more than 50,000 LED bulbs, is by far the largest event that Chiswick House & Gardens has hosted in recent years.

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The original estimate of 100,000 visitors to the event over its month-long run might be conservative, with organisers Weli Creative now predicting a total closer to 150,000.

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Power for the festival is provided by Midas Productions, who were onsite during preparations and will remain actively involved throughout to tackle any problems that may arise over its month-long run. Midas use Green D+ Biofuel for the generators which provide the power for the installations. The Green D+ fuel, unlike more traditional red diesel, will leave no trace in the event of a spillage in the 65-acre gardens.

Made of silk and steel and lit using insulated, waterproof cables, the installations should be able to withstand whatever the elements through at them this February (it even withstood the high winds of Storm Henry!).

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The crew working on the Magical Lantern festival in Chiswick worked closely with the Chinese artists who built the lanterns in China. The team from China are staying to work alongside the British team to maintain the lanterns and potentially to continue creating new installations over the coming months.

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Although there are no definite plans at this stage, a UK-wide tour may well be on the cards if this month’s festival proves to be a success.

Magical Lantern is time to coincide with Chinese New Year, and will no doubt provide Londoner’s with a atmospheric start to the Year of the Monkey.

The festival runs at Chiswick House & Gardens from 3 February – 6 March 2016.

Are you going to the Magical Lantern festival #eventprofs?