Lantern shows are a great way to celebrate the winter in style. The gardens and outdoor spaces of a city can feel a little dark and abandoned in the heart of winter until event organisers transform them with great illuminations.
For many people, the sights and colours are more than enough to get them in the festive spirit. However, this year’s Espèces en voie d’illumination at the Jardin des Plantes goes a step further. This light show is here to help us educate the next generation on the plight of the environment and extinction risks.
The lantern festival begins with a carefully designed walk through the garden. As visitors make their way around the paths they will find stunning lights in the shapes of different creatures. Some of these animals represent creatures that we have lost, while others are those we may soon lose if we don’t act.
The message isn’t so scary so as to upset children, but there is the opportunity for discussion. Youngsters can learn about species perhaps new to them and become compelled to learn more. Older children with a greater interest in the natural world can take this further with the workshop and other educational experiences on offer.
The other great thing about this experience is that this isn’t purely for a young audience. Anyone can come here and appreciate the intricacies of the designs or learn something about a threatened species.
The late night openings of 6 pm to 10:45 mean that couples can come here when the kids are in bed and enjoy a more peaceful stroll.
This show runs until the 15th of January, so there is plenty of time to learn and come back to see your favourite creatures. Hopefully, the event will be a success and inspire another festival for 2019, as well as a generation of budding environmentalists.