Lantern Light Festival - Miami, Florida

Hey guys!

December 2018 was a crazy month of multiple adventures, food, family, friends, and fun! I'm still trying to catch up with my posts from all my recent trips. So for today's post, I wanted to share a bunch of photos I took at the Lantern Light Festival. Created as a celebration of Chinese culture, the festival features handmade lanterns constructed out of wire and colorful silk. When you see them in person, you can really appreciate the delicate craftmanship and detail it takes to complete. It was also very interesting to read about what inspired each piece. (I've included that information in quotation marks.)

*Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored by the Lantern Light Festival. My views and opinions are never swayed and will only recommend products or places I love or enjoy.

Note: The festival went from November 30-January 20 at the Miami-Dade Fairgrounds, but will be moved to Jacksonville, FL by March. You can check dates and locations on their website.

Chinese Dragon
"The Dragon symbolizes power over water, strength, and good luck for those who are worthy. In China, outstanding people are compared to dragons."

Auspicious Fish
"In fengshui, numbers are always important and it's not different when it comes to the popular fengshui tool of fish. You can use fish either in a koi pond outside your home or in an aquarium inside your home. Both uses are auspicious and most agree that 9 fish brings good luck and prosperity."

Chinese Zodiacs
Rat - 2008, 1996, 1984, 1972, 1960
Ox - 2009, 1997, 1985, 1973, 1961
Tiger - 2010, 1998, 1986, 1974, 1962
Rabbit - 2011, 1999, 1987, 1975, 1963
Dragon - 2012, 2000, 1988, 1976, 1964
Snake - 2013, 2001, 1989, 1977, 1965
Horse - 2014, 2002, 1990, 1978, 1966
Goat - 2015, 2003, 1991, 1979, 1967
Monkey - 2016, 2004, 1992, 1980, 1968
Rooster - 2017, 2005, 1993, 1981, 1969
Dog - 2018, 2006, 1994, 1982, 1970
Pig - 2019, 2007, 1995, 1983, 1971

Shark Corridor
"Shark Fin Soup was traditionally served as a symbol of status and wealth but recently is becoming less fashionable in China due to concerns about shark sustainability."

Although this was one of my favorites at the festival, it did make me a bit upset. Shark finning is a very real problem we have going on in oceans all around the world (even in Florida.) I am not an expert on the situation, but I do believe in shark and ocean conservation. I encourage you to watch documentaries like Shark Girl, Mission Blue, Blue Planet 1-2, South Pacific, Chasing Coral, and Sharkwater. 

Happy Castle
"Everyone who enters the castle becomes a King, Queen, Prince, or Princess."

This was definitely the largest and most impressive display.

Insect World
"Insects have played an important role in Chinese History and culture dating back to the Ming Dynasty. The ancient Chinese regarded cicadas as symbols of rebirth or immortality. Traditional robes worn by Chinese Emperors were made from thread produced by silk worms."

"The Flamingo have been a signature icon in Florida culture since 1957. Flamingos symbolize beauty, balance, and grace. Some Flamingos are also pink, which symbolize femininity and innocence, among other characteristics. Flamingos also tend to represent confidence and sometimes flirtatious."

The next area of swans and lily pads unfortunately did not have a sign, so I don't know what the inspiration is for their culture. However, they were very beautiful!

Mushroom Trail
"In Chinese culture, mushrooms symbolize great health and longevity. The Chinese goddess of healing, Guanyin, is sometimes depicted holding a mushroom."

"In China, shells represent a comfortable home, a feeling of contentment, and protection, like a shield."

Wild Land
"In Chinese culture, animals play an important role of teaching lessons about Chinses history and customs that are still recognized and practices today."

"In the early 1850's, many Chinese immigrants came to Australia working as shepherds, rural labor, cooks, and gardeners. In 1853, the first boatload of Chinese minors arrived in Victoria. Between 1854 and 1855, about 31,000 Chinese people arrived on the Australian goldfields to seek their fortunes."

"Traditional music in China is played on solo instruments or in small ensembles of plucked and bowed stringed instruments, flutes, and various cymbals, gongs, and drums. Chinese orchestras traditionally consist of bowed strings, woodwinds, plucked strings and percussion."

Spanish Dancing
"Flamenco is a Spanish art form made up of three parts: Guitar Playing (Guitarra), Song (Cante), and Dance (Baile). Flamenco originated in the southern regions of Spain in the early 18th century, but it's thought to be influenced by many world cultures. Including Latin American, Cuban, Jewish, and Eastern Indian traditions."

Giant Panda
"Our Giant Panda is over 30 feet tall and is enjoying its favorite food, bamboo. Bamboo is 99% of the Panda's diet."

Love of Butterfly
"In China, Butterflies are symbolic of beauty and long life. A butterfly seeking a flower is symbolic of a young man in search of his love."

Cartoon Dinosaurs
"In China, Cartoon Characters are an effective way to deliver and reinforce lessons in Chinese culture and history as well as teach children social skills about everyday life."

"Known for its endurance, grace, and long life, the Deer is another Chinese symbol for longevity. The word for deer in Chinese is "Lu" which translates to mean income. Consequently, the combined meanings represent a prosperous long life."

Crescent Moon
"The Chinese have a special fondness for the Moon. The Moon is associated with gentleness and brightness, expressing the beautiful yearnings of the people."

Fashion High Heels
"High heels weren't even originally invented for women. (SURPRISE!) Persian men in the 10th century, wore heels while on horseback, so their feet would fit better in the stirrups."

These birdcages took my breath away... So intricately designed with twinkling lights and completed with vines growing on top.

Had some fun skipping down this color-changing corridor.

Wine Cup
"For thousands of years wine has been used in rituals to worship Gods and pay respects to ancestors in China. In Mandarin Chinese, "Ganbei" is the Chinese equivalent of the English "Cheers". This is a custom deeply rooted in Chinese culture and is said many times throughout the meal."

And now for my favorite lantern of the night:

"A Chinese text from the fourth century BC contains the earliest reference to a Mermaid, which are prevalent in Chinese folklore. One story tells of a mermaid who "wept tears which became pearls". In addition to their beautiful appearance, Chinese Mermaids are also outstanding craftswomen."

Yup, sounds about right to me! ;)

I had a great time walking through the Lantern Light Festival with my bestie. I loved learning about the Chinese culture and admiring these incredible traditional silk lanterns.




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