Vigor of dragon and horse at Yuyuan Garden

By Wu Ni in Shanghai ( China Daily ) Updated: 2014-02-16 08:37:44

Vigor of dragon and horse at Yuyuan Garden

A horse and dragon lantern set highlights the festival in the garden. Gao er'qiang / China Daily

A giant horse and dragon lantern set has brightened the central square of Yuyuan Garden in downtown Shanghai, bringing the holiday ecstasy of the Lunar Year of the Horse to a climax.

As the protagonist of this year's Yuyuan Spring Festival Folk Art Lantern Fair, the lantern set is larger and heavier than those of the previous 19 years - it is 10 meters tall, weighs 3 tons and covers about 160 square meters.

The golden horse lantern is 6 meters high and 10 meters long - almost three times the size of a real horse. It rears up beside a winding dragon. Under the horse is a large boat sailed by dolls from typical Chinese New Year paintings.

"The lantern set is created from the Chinese idiom 'the vigor of dragon and horse'," says Zhang Yan, vice-manager of the marketing department at Yuyuan Tourist Mart, which organized the lantern fair.

"Chinese people traditionally use the two animals to symbolize an enterprising spirit. We hope the lantern heralds a stronger nation and richer people."

More than 100 different shapes and sizes of horse lanterns are spread across the garden.

At the renowned zigzag bridge of nine turnings. And 15 sets of lanterns with a love theme delight visitors.

"The Chinese Lantern Festival of this year arrives on Feb 14, coinciding with Valentine's Day in Western countries. So we decorated the zigzag bridge with love-themed lanterns, wishing the lovers can go through life's turnings and love each other forever," Zhang says.

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