A Great Reason To Visit The Toronto CNE
We love to see colourful Chinese lanterns. So when we found out there were Chinese lanterns at the Toronto CNE, we knew we had to visit. It is just one of the fun things to do at the CNE. The Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) is in downtown Toronto and runs for the last weeks of the summer. Don’t miss the special exhibits this year!
One year, we actually went back to Spokane, WA a second time, just to catch the Chinese lantern festival in Spokane. When we visit China in the fall, we hope we will find one or more Chinese lantern festivals. We are in China for the Mid-Autumn Festival held on September 24 this year. And Chinese lanterns are only one of the great things that are part of this celebration!
A Great Variety Of Chinese Lantern Displays
A key theme of the Chinese lanterns at the Toronto CNE was Asia and the Silk Road. The lantern displays were a great tribute to the history of Chinese lanterns and the creativity that has spawned a whole new art form. One display showed the Tang Horses and of course, a tribute to the exploration of Marco Polo.
There were four dragons with animated heads that moved. The legend says that the Emperor was not happy about them bringing water to the people. To punish them he ordered four mountains to sit on the dragons. The dragons transformed to the four great rivers of China.
Mythical Characters On Display
As the Chinese lantern displays explored the past, there was a large display that showed a number of mythical figures. Odysseus and the Sirens were represented. The Phoenix was shown rising from the flames. Atlas held the weight of the world on his shoulders Sinbad was shown with the cyclops.
An interesting array of mythical creatures were displayed as Chinese lantens at the Toronto CNE – peacocks, 3 headed dogs and a unicorn too. The Legends of the Sky display added the flying creatures.
Fantasy and Fairy Tales
The stories moved to great tableaus of fantasy. No fantasy is complete without fairies flitting about. Another fantasy series included wise men, Gandalf the White and an Amazon warrior.
Children and adults alike were amused to find some of the classic fairy tale characters created in the Chinese lanterns at the Toronto CNE. Aladdin and his lamp were represented. Jack climbed up the beanstalk and we saw the golden goose. A complete scene depicted the story of Hansel and Gretel.
There were so many awesome artistic and colourful displays in the Chinese lanterns at the Toronto CNE.
An Indoor Zoo
When we visited the Chinese Lantern festival in Spokane, we marvelled at how realistic they made the animals look. We were not disappointed when we walked through the Chinese lanterns at the Toronto CNE and saw the animal displays. One scene gave us a view into an African jungle.
Some lions were on the attack while others just lounged about. Hippos and zebras wandered in what looked like a field of giant mushrooms.
One of my favourite displays showed an animated rabbit painting stripes on a zebra. Signs around the display provided interesting stories of how the zebra got its stripes, the giraffe got its long neck, the tiger got its stripes and the lion got its mane.
If you can’t make it to the zoo this summer, the Chinese lanterns at the Toronto CNE might give you a little animal excitement.
Tips For Seeing The Chinese Lanterns At The Toronto CNE
It was great to see the great colourful Chinese lantern at the Toronto CNE. A few tips if this is on your list when you visit:
1) If you want to see them, plan to come this year. They are not there every year!
2) Plan your timing. We stood in a long line to get in. But when we left, people went straight in. Head there when another big event (like the super dog show) is in the middle.
3) When I looked at pictures in advance, I wondered if we needed to go at night to see them fully lit up. This not necessary because the area they are in is dark.
4) Turn off your flash when you take the pictures. Not only will it wash out the colours. It will ruin everyone else’s shots.
5) If you want to take a perfect picture, find the exhibits with the special spots marked. That spot is lit from above so both you and the lanterns are perfectly lit.
The Colourful Chinese Lanterns Were A Great Draw
I must admit that one of the key things we wanted to see when we visited he CNE this year were the Chinese Lanterns. We knew that these colourful displays would be magical. But we were very surprised at how many different displays there were. There will be one for everyone!
The Toronto CNE runs through to the end of the Labour Day weekend. The air show that ends the summer has traditionally been my favourite attraction. But this year it got stiff competition from the Chinese lanterns at the Toronto CNE! I marvelled at the artistry that one can create with paper and light.
Have you visited the Chinese Lanterns at the Toronto CNE? Did you have a favourite one?
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