Edinburgh Zoo brings unicorns and faeries to Scotland's Capital as part of Giant Lanterns of China

RZSS Edinburgh Zoo will become home to hundreds of magical and mythical creatures this winter as part of its biggest ever event, The Giant Lanterns of China, which will feature unicorns, faeries, kelpies and Nessie the Loch Ness Monster.

For 50 nights from 16 November 2018, visitors to Scotland’s only Chinese lantern festival will come nose to nose with over 450 gigantic lanterns inspired by mythical creatures from Scottish and Chinese folklore.

Following the huge success of the inaugural event, which attracted more than 83,000 visitors, this year’s gigantic, handmade steel and silk sculptures will take visitors on a completely new nocturnal trail around the Zoo.

The Giant Lanterns of China is inspired by the Scottish tradition of storytelling, the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland’s (RZSS) worldwide animal conservation work and the cultural heritage of Sichuan – where the Zoo’s resident giant pandas were born.

Children from Corstorphine Primary School come face to face with one of the Unicorns at Edinburgh Zoo

Barbara Smith, chief executive at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo, said: “This year’s Giant Lanterns of China event is set to be bigger and even more spectacular than ever. We’re bringing to life a new myths and legends theme in an awe-inspiring nocturnal trail around the Zoo, which features everything from Scotland’s very own Nessie to a colossal phoenix from China.

“Visitors will come face-to-face with famous fairy tales, folklore and fables from the Far East and Western cultures. Each night, we will illuminate the critical conservation work of RZSS by telling the stories of endangered animals that face extinction and the real risk of them becoming legends for future generations.”

The event was created in partnership with the VYA Creative Lantern Company and DDM Entertainment and Events Inc. More than 50 Chinese craftspeople from Sichuan will spend over 25,000 hours expertly producing the bespoke installations.

Tickets for The Giant Lanterns of China are priced from £9.50 for children and £18 for adults and advanced online booking discounts and discounts for RZSS members are available. Tickets are available at:


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