Raise the Red Lantern

chinese-lantern-festival-dallas big

I thought I’d share some photos from October (yes, October!) with you.  I’m working on a backlog of photo editing from the end of last year.  I guess there were just so many fantastic things going on that I got behind.  And October is always a busy month for us, it seems.  Every year, as you probably know, we go to the State Fair as part of Eric’s birthday celebration.

red lanterns in a circular patter from below

This year, they were having the Chinese Lantern Festival, so we made sure to go while the festival was still going on.  We went during the day, although I’m sure it was beautiful all lit up at night.

red lanterns against a blue sky

When we went, there weren’t a ton of people there, which was nice.  We just strolled through at a leisurely pace.

entrance gate to the Chinese Lantern Festival

There were lots of little animals and flowers and mushrooms and all sorts of things.  What you have to imagine, which is sometimes hard to take in, is that everything is a lantern!!  I’m sure it was really a stunning display at night.

panda and flower lanterns

I loved the little grove of cherry trees – such fun to see their pretty pink blossoms.  Reminds me a bit of my First Days of Spring post.

cherry blossom tree lanterns

The dragon was stunning all by himself.  He was huge – lengthwise – and absolutely amazing the closer you got to him.

Chinese dragon made out of blue and white pottery

Especially once you realized he was made entirely from china plates and cups.  Everything was woven together in the most intricate fashion.

closeup of the blue and white plates

And there were even a couple of temples – the entire piece was itself a lantern. How amazing is that?  These are all primarily constructed of fabric and wire.


And these were so cool – they are made up of tiny little glass vials filled with colored liquid.  Water or oil, I assume?  They looked like they were covered in crystals in the sun.

Chinese dragons made of glass bottles facing a large vase with a sphere on top also made of small glass bottles

See the little vials?

closeup of the dragon showing the small multi-colored glass bottles

The lotus blossoms on the water were so pretty.  And there were frogs and birds and even fish lanterns in there too.  I just really loved the pink lotus flowers.

lotus blossom and frog lanterns on the water

Apparently some of the big lotus flowers actually opened and closed at night during the show.  Love that!

lotus blossom lanterns on the water with the pagoda in the background

See the bird?  I loved all the colors on these lanterns.  And the fabric had a sheen to it like silk.  Just absolutely amazing the level of detail.

lotus flower and bird lantern on the water

The swan paddle boats looked right at home amongst the flowers.

swan paddle boats

This was a giant fan – I do mean giant.  I loved the kind of cloisonné look of the birds.

two birds in shades of blue with red cherry blossoms

Here’s the other temple – I just loved all that bright blue!

bright blue multi-storied pagoda

And look at this shadow box with the peacocks Рalso had that cloisonn̩ look to them.

two peacocks with large colorful flowers

It really was a fantastic exhibit.  Like I said, I wish we could have seen it at night – but it was still breathtaking during the day.

closeup of a red kabuki mask showing just one eye

I loved this shot – a little bit of East meets Southwest.

red lanterns hanging with the Texas Star ferris wheel in the background

Of course, we spent a good amount of time at the fair doing the other things we usually enjoy.  We took in two shows of The Killdares.  Always good music and a lot of fun to sit and watch them play.

The Kildares performing on stage - a bagpiper and a violinist

They had a new fancy rotating stage this year, which was kind of fun.

The Kildares performing on stage - a bagpiper and a violinist

Eric bought a couple of their CDs and we stayed behind after the second show to get them signed by the band.

The Kildares performing on stage - a drummer and a bass player

It was a great day and we definitely enjoyed ourselves.  By the time the sun went down we were worn out and ready to head home!

the Midway lit up at night with the crescent moon in the sky

Until next year!

Oh, and p.s. if you’ve never seen the movie Raise the Red Lantern, it’s really good.

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