LANTERN FESTIVAL GRAND OPENING WEEKEND FEATURES ENTERTAINMENT ALL DAY, ILLUMINATED LANTERNS AT NIGH WHAT: Lantern Festival Grand Opening Weekend
WHEN: Saturday, May 26 through Monday, May 28 (Memorial Day) from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Exhibition continues Thursday-Sunday evenings, May 31-July 29 ......
the complete exhibition experience when the lanterns are illuminated at 8 p.m. each night.
Among the weekend’s many other highlights is the grand parade that winds through the Missouri Botanical Garden each day at 2:30 p.m. This vibrant spectacle includes dance teams, acrobats, groups in traditional costumes, martial arts teams and drummers, along with individual lion dancers and dragon dancers.
The dramatic New Shanghai Circus takes the Cohen Amphitheater stage daily at noon, 3 and 5 p.m. For more than 40 years, the New Shanghai Circus troupe has worked to perfect the fine Chinese folk art of tumbling into an international award-winning performance involving both artistry and acrobatics. Enjoy an extravaganza of elegant dance, dazzling acrobatics, mysterious magic and mystical music.
The international Zhongguo Sichuan Leshan Chenlong Zajiyishu Private Limited Acrobatic Troupe takes the stage nightly at 7 p.m. Eight performers from the Sichuan province of southern China are traveling to St. Louis to take part in the Lantern Festival by amazing audiences with feats of flexibility, strength, balance and contortion. Watch as entertainers spin multiple plates atop high poles, hold stacked rice bowls on outstretched legs by the soles of their feet and balance other performers as they bend into unbelievable positions.
A more reserved element of the festival is the hundred man t’ai ji routine, offered all three days at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the Cohen Amphitheater. Originally developed in ancient China for self-defense, t’ai chi has evolved into a graceful form of exercise that is now used for stress reduction. Metro St. Louis t’ai ji masters have developed a routine specifically for the Lantern Festival Grand Opening Weekend. Watch as local schools demonstrate the various styles and forms of t’ai ji exercises and disciplines, and then join in simple, instructor-led movements designed for audience participation.
Explore the Grigg Nanjing Friendship Garden with guided tours each day at noon, 1, 2, 3 and 4 p.m. Designed as a private “scholar’s garden,” the Chinese Garden commemorates the sister city relationship of St. Louis and Nanjing and honors the longstanding scientific and cultural exchange between the Missouri Botanical Garden and Chinese botanical institutions. Bridges, stones, decorative pavements and a pool of water surround the garden’s elegant pagoda. Chinese music will play here throughout the day.
Marvel at the costumes from the Tang Dynasty through the Qin Dynasty during the cultural fashion show at 1 p.m. each day inside the Shoenberg Theater. Performers demonstrate how Chinese fashion has evolved alongside the change of history and culture. The pageantry is presented through traditional music and joyful dances. Seating is limited.
Examine the Chinese culinary arts and the arts of Chinese tea. Chinese culture considers cooking an art and a science. Chef Chu demonstrates the art of food carving and simple-to-prepare Chinese entrees daily at 1:30 p.m. Gongfu cha, or the art of tea preparation and service, illustrates the importance of making high quality tea in the Chinese tradition and is showcased daily at 3 and 4:30 p.m. Seating is limited