Visitors to Hamburg’s Insel Park have in recent days been able to see pandas, peacocks, roosters and many other animals – but this is not a zoo. In fact, it is one stop of the Zigong Lantern Festival’s global campaign, which kicked off in Beijing on January 10 this year.
The annual Zigong Lantern Festival is an ancient tradition that comes from Zigong in southwest China’s Sichuan Province. The festival dates back to the Tang Dynasty (618-907), and this year, the lanterns are part of the decorations at the 2017 G20 summit in Hamburg.
According to Huang Dechun, director of this global campaign, the lantern festival in Hamburg occupies 1.7 hectares, and features 23 groups of lanterns. Most of the amusing and beautiful lantern styles are based on German interests in Chinese culture, such as animals, Chinese antiques and myths, meaning local residents can enjoy some of these great examples of Chinese culture in their own city.
It took more than one month to make the lanterns for display in Zigong City, before they were loaded into five containers on board the Ourong China-Europe Freight train bound for Hamburg. In the past few years, this trip would have taken more than 40 days by sea, but now, after a 20-day rail journey, these lanterns are able to arrive in Hamburg and meet the public just before the start of the G20 Summit.
The Hamburg Lantern Festival will officially kick off on July 6 and last for 10 days, welcoming tourists and visiting leaders attending the G20 summit.