Luminasia – where the “East meets West”

The rainy weather finally cleared this past weekend and my Mom and I decided to take advantage of the nice weather to go and see Luminasia – a two-acre display where the traditions of Chinese lantern making has been modernized into a 21-st century display illuminated by over 50,000 state of the art light bulbs.  In order for this amazing display of Chinese lanterns to develop, 35 Chinese artisans arrived in Washington in August in order to assemble the display.

As you enter the Luminasia display, you walk under the lighted arch way, giving you glimpse of what to expect

As you enter the Luminasia display, you walk under the lighted arch way, giving you glimpse of what to expect

Chinese lantern festivals originated in Zigong, the third largest city in the Sichaun province of the People’s Republic of China.  In ancient times, the lanterns were quite simple, with only the emperor and nobleman having more ornate ones.  Today, however, the lanterns are often made in the shape of animals and can symbolize people letting go of their past selves and getting new ones which they will let go of the next year.

Part of one of the first displays you see is a large reef made out of lanterns.

Part of one of the first displays you see is a large reef made out of lanterns.

Quite a few Washington icons also made an appearance at Luminasia, including replicas of Mt. Rainier as well as the tallest lantern in the display, at over 60 feet, the Seattle Space Needle:

Luminasia---Washington-icons

Mt. Rainier and the Space Needle were both on display at this year’s lantern festival.

There as also a replica of a Washington State Ferry that you walked through to gain access to the majority of the displays.

A replica of a Washington State ferry boat at the 2013 Luminasia display.

A replica of a Washington State ferry boat at the 2013 Luminasia display.

Remember though, this post is titled “Where the East Meets West”….not all of the displays were about the west.  There was plenty of eastern displays as well, including the longest lantern on display at over 80 feet, a large dragon boat:

At over 80 feet in length, this dragon boat was the longest lantern on display.

At over 80 feet in length, this dragon boat was the longest lantern on display.

There was also a replica of a pagoda:

The pagoda at Luminasia

The pagoda at Luminasia

From the Pagoda, there was an amazing reflection of other lanterns including koi fish and lotus blossoms:

A calm night allowed for stunning reflections viewed from the pagoda.

A calm night allowed for stunning reflections viewed from the pagoda.

In order for Luminasia to happen, over 8 months was put into the design and preparation of the display.  The display itself containers 65,000 pounds of angle iron, 5,000 pounds of flame retardant satin, and over 50,000 incandescent, fluorescent and LED lightbulbs.  It is a stunning display of artistry and craftsman ship that the entire family will enjoy.

To see more images from Luminasia, please go to my Flick’r page.

Until the next adventure…

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