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Chinese Lantern Festival delights and amazes

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Chinese Lantern Festival delights and amazes
Highlight is this scale model of Vienna's Opera House, as a giant lantern. Photo: Paul Gillingwater
23:50 CEST+02:00
Making its Central European debut, the traditional Chinese lantern festival highlights music, dance, costumes and the amazing art of the illuminated lantern, opening September 1st on Vienna's Donau Insel.

Hundreds of people attended a special preview of the latest cultural phenomena to emerge from the Far East, with the inauguration of a festival that has more than two thousand years of tradition to uphold.

This festival, organized for the first time in Central Europe, showcases the special artistry of nearly sixty artists and performers, who combine dance, stunning acrobatics, music, lavish costumes and with a highlight of beautifully illuminated lanterns dozens of metres long and several metres high.

With prices for tickets being 22 euros for adults and 12 euros for children, the festival is challenged to provide a high level of entertainment -- and they deliver.

Chinese artists have crafted an amazingly huge scale replica of Vienna's famous opera house.  There is a tribute to Austria's famous Swarovski Crystal, as well as the goddess Pallas Athene with winged Nike, and some traditional Austrian dishes that everyone will enjoy.

The more traditional Chinese images are stunning -- including a massive dragon, which watches over the event from behind the stage.  See if you can spot the tribute to the classical Austrian composer, as well as copies of some famous statues from the Belvedere gardens.  

There is even a pair of Red Bulls on the stage, but we suspect that's just a happy accident.

The performers on stage give everything they have, night after night, and still had time to pose for photographs with fans.  Important tip: the lanterns are best viewed after darkness falls.  The festival runs until October 9th, but get there early -- it's going to be popular!

Check out our gallery here.  But trust us -- it's much more impressive and beautiful in person.  

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