Every year, during the autumn season, the Montreal Botanical Garden lights up with the Magic of Lanterns festival (French: La Magie des Lanternes). During this festival, hundreds of Chinese lanterns illuminate the Chinese Garden of the Botanical Garden, turning the Chinese Garden into an enchanted garden full of light and harmony while traditional Chinese music plays in the background.
During the Magic of Lanterns, the Chinese Garden takes center stage with hundreds of silk lanterns illuminating the Chinese Garden. These lanterns light up the sky, the surrounding area, the water and various walkways around the Chinese Garden. You’ll discover various types of lanterns, colorful boats floating on the pond and illuminated animals (leopard, peacock, koala, etc…) that will delight visitors, young and old. The most impressive lanterns are usually displayed in the Chinese Garden’s Dream Lake, which features a beautiful display of multi-colored lights and boats floating on the small lake.
The beautiful lanterns used for Magic of Lanterns take nearly a full year of preparation work. All of the lanterns for the festival are designed in Montreal, but manufactured and transported from the Shanghai by boats. Designs are picked and sent to a company in Shanghai to produce the authentic traditional Chinese lanterns. The lantern designs are completed in spring but it takes several months before the lanterns are completed and shipped to Montreal. Many of the lanterns are made from a metal or bamboo frame covered in silk.
During the festival, the Japanese garden is also not to be missed. Although the Japanese Garden is not as eventful as the Chinese Garden, its real attractions are the beautiful vegetation and trees that are highlighted by the reflection of the light from the lanterns. The sounds of the fountains and smells of the plants are amplified, which also adds to a beautiful sensory experience.
The Montreal Botanical Garden has been hosting the festival for over 20 years with a different theme every year. Hundreds of hand-crafted silk lanterns are imported from China for the festival each year.