The Gateway City will be aglow from May 26 through Aug. 19 as the
Missouri Botanical Garden presents "Lantern Festival: Art by
Day, Magic by Night." The never-before-seen in the United States
exhibition showcases 26 huge, elaborate lanterns designed
specifically for the festival and placed throughout the scenic
79-acre garden. The artistic steel and silk lanterns depict
characters and symbols from Chinese legend and culture. They range
from 10-foot-tall towering terra-cotta warriors and Chinese opera
masks to porcelain dragons rising from the garden's fountains in
honor of the Chinese zodiac's Year of the Dragon in 2012. The
three-story-high "Heavenly Temple" lantern is modeled after the
famous Imperial temple in Beijing.
At night, Thursdays through
Sundays, the garden will host special events that feature the
illuminated lanterns in a spectacular display of lights and colors.
Evening activities will include authentic Chinese acrobatic
performances, tea ceremonies, and Chinese craft and art
demonstrations including calligraphy, spun sugar candy creations,
opera mask design and tea presentations.
Visitors can experience the quiet solitude of a Chinese garden
with a stroll through the Margaret Grigg Nanjing Friendship
Garden within the Missouri Botanical Garden. The garden,
designed by a Chinese-born architect, was modeled after a scholar's
garden near Nanjing, St. Louis' Chinese sister city. Beautiful
plantings native to China, including pines, bamboos, willows,
forsythia, wisteria, lotuses and peonies, are masterfully set among
an ornate Chinese pavilion, a hand-carved white marble bridge and
boulder-filled goldfish pond.
Opened in 1959, the Missouri Botanical Garden is the
oldest public garden in the nation and is counted among the top
three public gardens in the world. Visitors attending the Lantern
Festival also can enjoy the garden's other delights, which include a
boxwood garden; two rose gardens; an elaborate Missouri
Adventure-themed children's garden; 28 demonstration gardens within
the Kemper Center for Home Gardening; a Victorian garden; a
recreated tropical rain forest within the Climatron geodesic dome;
and the largest authentic Japanese garden in North America.
St. Louis' collection of free cultural institutions in Forest
Park provides glimpses into Chinese culture. Many Chinese
critters call the Saint Louis Zoo home. A checklist of
Chinese creatures to visit at the famous free zoo includes the
beautiful Amur tigers, Malayan sun bears, Sichuan takins,
antelope-like central Chinese gorals, the sweet-faced red panda and
reptiles including the Mount Mang pit viper, Chinese crocodile
lizard, alligator and box turtle. Birds have been depicted in
Chinese art throughout the ages. Some of the beautiful feathered
creatures that provided artistic inspiration reside within the zoo's
Bird Garden, including the great Indian hornbill, white-naped crane
and the pheasant-like tragopans from central China.
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The Saint Louis Art Museum is one of the nation's leading
comprehensive art museums, with works of art of exceptional quality
from virtually every time period and culture, including China. The
museum's Asian collection comprises fine works from East, Central,
Southeast and South Asia, with strengths in ancient and later
Chinese bronzes, Buddhist sculpture, calligraphy and painting,
ceramics, and decorative arts. Rare bronze wine and grain vessels
from the 11th century B.C.E., delicate porcelain vases from the
14th-century Yuan dynasty, gilded bronze deity statuary from the
eighth-century Tang dynasty, and colorful ink-on-silk scrolls
depicting landscapes and animals showcase the work of Chinese
artists throughout the ages. The Saint Louis Art Museum is dedicated
to art and free to all.
The fabled 1904 "Meet Me in St. Louis" World's Fair was the first
world exposition in which China participated. At the Missouri
History Museum's "1904 World's Fair: Looking Back at Looking
Forward" gallery, gaze upon items from China that were viewed by
fairgoers, including a large, intricately carved rosewood desk.
Crafted in northern China's Ningpo region, the desk design mimics a
pagoda. A pair of hand-embroidered silk "lily foot" shoes showcased
at the fair also is on display. The World's Fair exhibition is open
daily at no charge.
China has its Great Wall and St. Louis has its "Wall of Greats."
The outfield wall at Busch Stadium, home to the 2011 world
champion St. Louis Cardinals, is decorated with the names and
uniform numbers of the historic baseball team's National Baseball
Hall of Fame inductees. Honored are Rogers Hornsby, Dizzy Dean, Enos
Slaughter, Red Schoendienst, Bob Gibson, Lou Brock, Ozzie Smith,
Whitey Herzog, Bruce Sutter, broadcaster Jack Buck and the greatest
Cardinal of all time -- Stan "The Man" Musial.
One of Marco Polo's greatest "finds" during his excursions to
China was pasta. You can enjoy the many forms of this now iconic
Italian food staple at the many delis and restaurants on The Hill,
St. Louis' beloved Italian neighborhood. Asian fare with Chinese,
Vietnamese, Thai and Indian flavors is readily available throughout
St. Louis. Check out the many Asian restaurants, bakeries and
grocery stores in the Grand South Grand neighborhood, in
The Loop on Delmar Boulevard and a stretch of authentic Chinese
dim sum spots located along Olive Boulevard in University City.
For more information about St. Louis, including lodging and a
detailed calendar of events, click on
or call toll-free 1-800-916-0040.
[Text from file received from the
St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission]