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North Carolina hosts one of the most impressive Chinese lantern festivals in the country


North Carolina hosts one of the most impressive Chinese lantern festivals in the country

For the second year in a row the Chinese Lantern Festival's dazzling displays wowed visitors at the Koka Booth Amphitheater in Cary, North Carolina. 90,000 people came out in the seven weeks that it was open to marvel at the beauty of light and culture that was on display. 

The festival began on Black Friday after Thanksgiving and wrapped this past Sunday. 

This has been the second year of the North Carolina Chinese Lantern Festival and it has been really well received. We will return next year and hopefully many years to come.
Liz McDonald

The event was a huge success and Koka Booth Amphitheater(GM), Liz McDonald hopes that the huge turnout will ensure the event will continue every year in Cary, North Carolina. 

The light festival is a Chinese tradition celebrated on the fifteenth day of the first month in the lunisolar Chinese calendar. It marks the final day of the traditional Chinese New Year celebrations and usually falls on some day in February or March in the Gregorian calendar.

Tianyu Arts and Culture, a Zigong, Sichuan-based company is responsible for bringing this colorful celebration to the Cary, North Carolina venue. The amphitheater hosted impressive silk lanterns, traditional Chinese performers and even had Chinese inspired food trucks.

Visitors walked under 200 dangling lanterns and gawked at 20 large handmade displays that required 15,000 LED lights. 21 Tianyu artisans flew in from China to create these stunning masterpieces. It took them three weeks to weld the frames and layer the silks. 

One of the coolest displays was the 200 foot Chinese dragon that sits on Symphony Lake.


2016 was the Chinese year of the monkey.  So the Tianyu team created a special, over-the-top monkey display that sits on top of a gigantic pagoda. 

Next years display will surely feature a huge rooster, as 2017 is the year of the rooster. 

foot juggling.gif

The North Carolina Chinese Lantern Festival also featured cultural performances, such as traditional Chinese dancers and acrobatics. But there's no doubt that the foot juggler stole the show. 

People are really amazed. They absolutely love the lanterns, they are true art forms and are kind of magical.
Liz McDonald

Cary, North Carolina isn't the only city in the country that's lucky enough to have such a bright and fun attraction. Tianyu has also displayed in other cities like Atlanta, Philadelphia, Spokane and Columbus Ohio. "We were really fortunate to have this very, very unique festival here in Cary." said Liz McDonald. 

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