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Toronto Chinese lantern festival

  • 20th Oct, 2006 at 5:55 AM

CN Tower
Originally uploaded by sfllaw.

My mom came into my room with a printout in hand, showing it to me excitedly. Look, she said, they've got lanterns at Ontario Place. She suggested that I take some photographs there, and recognizing a capital idea when I heard one, I decided to do so.

See, a huge telecommunications company sponsored this lantern exhibition in downtown Toronto. Now, le Jardin Botanique does this every year, but Toronto doesn't have an annual lantern festival, even with its high Chinese population. They originally had it running until the beginning of October, but someone must have informed them about 中秋節, because they extended it until that weekend.

The trip to the harbourfront reminded me of how fun certain parts of the Toronto transit system are. I got on a clean and bright subway car, rode down to Union station, and transferred to a streetcar that brought me to Exhibition Place. After a walk through huge parking lots, I was able to see brightly coloured, Chinese looking, structures.

I crossed the bridge on to the Ontario Place island, where I had the privilege of paying $25 to get in. Once inside, I noticed that the place wasn't very well populated at all. This is unlike Montréal, where the gardens are often packed so full of people that you can't set up your tripod.

Since the lanterns weren't on yet, I spent some time walking around scouting locations. And taking photographs of the sunset. Some kids had congregated on the beach to skip stones, which looked like an awful lot of fun.

Once the sun had actually gone down, they flipped the switch on the lanterns.

Originally uploaded by sfllaw.

Phoenix at dusk
Originally uploaded by sfllaw.

After a bit of photography, I heard the rhythmic drumming of a dragon dance. Since I found myself conveniently in front of a soundstage, I went over to see what was going on. Oh! A dance by some teenagers.

Dragon dance
Originally uploaded by sfllaw.

Originally uploaded by sfllaw.


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
20th Oct, 2006 12:49 (UTC)
These are beautiful photos.

I know not everything depends on technology - obviously, you're a more talented photographer than I am - but I'm pretty frustrated with my digital camera. There is just no way that I could ever take a picture like that last one with mine, because it really sucks in low-light situations. I can't even take decent pictures at shows.

I'm thinking of selling it and getting a new one. Any recommendations?
20th Oct, 2006 18:43 (UTC)
I'd recommend a Canon PowerShot A-series or the Lumix LX-1.

You'll want to do some research to see which kind of camera meets your needs the best.
20th Oct, 2006 14:29 (UTC)
These are absolutely gorgeous. I'm so disappointed you didn't get any of my masks, if anyone could make them look beautiful it would be you :)
20th Oct, 2006 16:19 (UTC)
How about I drop by the café at some point in time and take some photos?

Or we could arrange to shoot some of your masks after your exhibition is over?
20th Oct, 2006 18:50 (UTC)
They'll be up for 2 months. That would be fabulous if you could do that. I'd have to credit you all over the place of course :)
20th Oct, 2006 19:00 (UTC)
These photos are awesome, I went to the exhibit a few weeks ago with my friend Anthony. At the exhibit I especially liked the little Panda garden. The lanterns remind me of a time when I was young in Hong Kong, on Autumn festival we would all get lanterns and little candles assemble them and then walk the streets. I don't remember very much except that it was awfully fun!
20th Oct, 2006 20:31 (UTC)
We walked around with paper lanterns last year, even though nobody else did that. In Toronto, you can still get away with it, I think.
21st Oct, 2006 01:46 (UTC)
I love "Phoenix at Dusk."
21st Oct, 2006 20:42 (UTC)
21st Oct, 2006 02:08 (UTC)
Those are gorgeous photos!
21st Oct, 2006 20:44 (UTC)
Thank you!
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )