Holiday Lights that Celebrate Chinese Heritage Surpass Expectations

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Holiday Lights that Celebrate Chinese Heritage Surpass Expectations

Picture from creative commons.

Picture from creative commons.

Picture from creative commons.

Picture from creative commons.

Abby Keane

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The glistening lights that make One Loudoun glow in the dark are the perfect medicine for the hectic holiday season. The lighting displays surpassed all others by far. It was truly enchanting.

 

As a definite light show lover, the holiday season is a joyful time for me to hop from light show to light show. The Light UP festival was by far the best light show on the East Coast.

 

This exhibit was designed by the architects of the Zigong Lantern Festival in China. It first came to America in 2014 and has visited Houston and Phoenix. The festival attracted an estimated 200,000 people and it spans over 20 acres of land, making it the largest display on the east coast.

 

The Light UP festival celebrated Chinese heritage in a magical way. With over one million lights twinkling among the dark sky, people of all ages came together to see the lights. There were 77 uniquely themed displays with four major ones. They were Tour of Fantasy, Freedom America , Mysterious East and Magical Order. The setting changed from a world of lore, to a patriotic walk, to a lantern-covered city and finally presents the animal kingdom through the ages. The displays lasted eight weeks and used new lighting technology and handcrafted lanterns.

Even if visitors turned out not to be the biggest light fans there are many other things to do. The entertainment captured the themes and spirit of the festival. The acrobats in holiday costumes surprised the guests while they performed. The warm tents allowed guests to take a nice break from the chilly air while enjoying the performances.

 

No other light festival had food quite like this one. With the culturally rich foods and classics such as Chinese street food, the enticing aroma was always drawing me to the tasty treats.

 

As my mind was busy taking in the array of different foods, entertainment and crafts, the freezing cold air was quickly forgotten. However, it was exceedingly important to dress for the weather since visitors are walking around for a while in a winter wonderland. Despite the biting air, it still outshined other light shows.

 

Comparing the Light UP festival to others such as The Bull Run Festival of Lights almost seems unfair. Bull Run visitors drive around in cars looking at the lights, while at Light UP you are submerged in a sparkling paradise. The classic lights seen while driving through Bull Run was trumped by Light UP’s master displays. All I wanted to do was go back to Light UP where there was themed lights, food and performances. The only thing that kept me from going back was the price of the tickets. They cost 30 for adults and 20 for kids while the cost at Bull Run was only 25 per car, but the price reflected the quality of the light shows.

 

Light UP festival left me wanting to go back. The spirit and camaraderie was so positive and endearing. Every one there was either smiling, pointing or had their jaw dropped in awe looking at the majestic displays. This festival will surely light up your world.

 

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