Lost Worlds at Giant Lanterns of China

  • This article has been written with the support of Edinburgh Tourist Action Group.
  • 28 October 2019
Lost Worlds at Giant Lanterns of China

Be transported back to a time where weird and wonderful creatures roamed the Earth as Edinburgh Zoo's award-winning lantern festival returns

Having quickly become a hugely popular element of Edinburgh's winter celebrations, the award-winning Giant Lanterns event returns to the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland's Edinburgh Zoo, but with a whole new theme for 2019. Running across 47-nights, this extravaganza is based around a Lost Worlds theme, where hundreds of prehistoric creatures will be brought to life to present a visually stunning display of the history of wildlife.

'We are thrilled to be bringing Giant Lanterns back to the zoo this winter and really excited about our new theme,' says Lyndy Donaldson, events and experiences manager at Edinburgh Zoo. 'Giant Lanterns: Lost Worlds will offer visitors the opportunity to discover the amazing creatures that once lived on our planet and help us raise awareness of the very real threat of extinction faced today by endangered species around the world.'

The enchanting mile-long nocturnal trail around the zoo will transport visitors back to a time when unfamiliar creatures roamed the earth, with over 600 lanterns highlighting 570 million years of incredible wildlife, from the first array of tiny microbes, to a world ruled by dinosaurs and an ice age that gave way to the forgotten giants of the animal kingdom.

'Highlights include a tyrannosaurus rex, a 32-foot-tall volcano, a gigantic 65-foot-long snake as well as some new interactive elements,' adds Donaldson. 'As Scotland's only Chinese lantern festival, it's a fantastic experience for all the family.'

This is the third year of the Giant Lanterns event which continues to dazzle and delight guests of all ages. The event stems from a long-standing relationship between the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland and Sichuan, the birthplace of Edinburgh Zoo's giant pandas, with the lanterns painstakingly handcrafted by artisans in Sichuan, travelling over 5000 miles before arriving at the zoo.

The event has timed entry slots, every 15 minutes from 4.45pm to 7.30pm. Visitors are encouraged to book online in advance to secure their preferred date and time. The Giant Lanterns of China runs in partnership with the VYA Creative Lantern Company, DDM Entertainment and Events Inc. and the Confucius Institute for Scotland at the University of Edinburgh.

Giant Lanterns of China: Lost Worlds, Fri 15 Nov 2019–Sun 26 Jan 2020 (not 25 Dec). Tickets: £8.50–£17, edinburghzoo.org.uk

Giant Lanterns: Lost Worlds

Bespoke displays created by Chinese craftspeople from Sichuan. This year's exhibit has a theme of 'Lost Worlds'.