ART & CULTURE
From 29 November 2019 to February 23, 2020, Parc Phoenix will be lighting up the French Riviera with a special Chinese lantern festival. Baie des Lumières, or ‘Nice, Bay of Lights,’ is a massive production of 550 hand-built lanterns depicting Chinese folklore and ancient tradition. Designed as a journey through Chinese traditions and know-how, the park will be illustrated by scenes of daily life and magical landscapes.
Celebrating the 55th anniversary of diplomatic relation between France and China, this immense Franco-Chinese project required 30 shipping containers of material, 60 days of transport and 40 days for a team of about 40 workers to build the lantern structures. Everything is hand-built, from the almost 20 metre Great Wall to the 50-metre long double dragons! Each and every piece (except the 40 terra cotta soldier replicas) are constructed of an iron frame covered in hand-painted silk. They are illuminated with low-watt LED lights which completely transforms Parc Phoenix into a magical and mystical place, with massive structures and little hidden ones too. Illuminated lotus flowers line the stream, adorable pandas are dispersed in nooks and crannies, teapots pouring tea around corners, and some statues of great Chinese poets sit quietly amongst the trees. Everywhere you go is a chance to be delighted.
In addition to the lanterns, there are several live performances, including martial arts demonstrations, traditional dances and tea ceremonies. There is a food area where you can taste typical Chinese cuisine or regular foods for the less adventurous! Either way, this unique festival is sure to be enjoyed by the whole family.
The inauguration on Friday, 29 November at 6 pm will be a grand affair, with animations and shows. Nice Mayor, Christian Estrosi will be present to start the festival along with Shaye Lu, famous actor and Chinese Ambassador to Nice.
The festival will last 13 weeks, taking us through the winter season. If you’ve ever been curious to experience Chinese culture and celebrations, this is the perfect opportunity - without flying all the way to China, of course.
Baie des Lumières: Open every day from 5.30 pm to 10 pm
Tickets: €17 (€12 reduced), children under 5 are free
Family pack: €46 (2 adults + 2 children)
405, Promenade des Anglais, 06200 Nice
By car: Easily accessible from the A8, with several parking lots in the complex.
By Tram: Parc Phoenix stop on Line 2
By train: TER station Nice St Augustin