08 / 03 / 2021
  - 05:41:18 AM
Festival of Illumination at Southwick's Zoo

The Festival of Illumination is a must see experience for guests of all ages; New England's largest and premier lantern showcase! 

Beginning this September running thru to January 3, 2022, Southwick’s Zoo will be illuminated by hundreds of lanterns and custom-built exhibits constructed from silk, steel, and environmentally- friendly LED lights.  The theme of this year’s Festival of Illumination is a "World of Lights - Our Continents and their Cultures.”  In addition to highlighting traditional culture, this spectacular night-time display will shine a light on a variety of continents and their traditions.

Travel the globe through the incredible artistry of handcrafted Chinese Lanterns and immerse yourself in the magical world of imagination and illumination.   The Festival of Illumination will take you on a trip through the African Savannahs, the Amazon rainforest, the Great Barrier Reef of Australia, as well as many beautiful and fascinating regions in between.  Visitors will also enjoy live entertainment, a typical Asian Night Marketplace and specialty foods.

Starting on November 26th, 2021 through January 3rd, 2022  Southwick's Zoo's traditional Winter Wonderland's holiday lights, as well as additional holiday themed Chinese Lanterns, will be added. Santa will be visiting at his Enchanted Village.

The Chinese Lantern Festival is a centuries-old tradition, celebrated beginning in 206 B.C. featuring spectacular illuminated displays from history and mythology; the displays are incredibly detailed and intricately constructed, with some lanterns as large as 60 feet tall and 300 feet in length.

At Southwick’s Zoo, the Festival of Illumination fully engages in maintaining the charm of the century-old traditions, while integrating modern technologies and craftsmanship, resulting in a most unique and amazing display, rich in cultural and artistic expression.

In 2019 they began to plan for the Festival of Illumination “World of Lights” originally to be hosted in the fall of 2020 at Southwick’s Zoo, but by May of 2020 and due to the current state of COVID, The zoo decided for the safety of all involved, that they would need to postpone the festival until 2021.  Thier team is global consisting of remarkably talented, hardworking and devoted individuals who each play an integral role in bringing this festival to fruition.

Southwick's Zoo is honored to be working with the Zigong Lantern Group® to bring you the Festival of Illumination "World of Lights" at Southwick's Zoo, Mendon, Massachusetts.

The Zigong Lantern Group® is the world's largest lantern manufacturer, and their breath-taking displays have been featured in locations world wide including the Dublin Zoo, RZSS Edinburgh Zoo, UK's Longleat House, Nashville Zoo and the Magnolia Plantation, South Carolina. 

Zigong Lantern Group®, was formed in the United States as the international branch to bring the Chinese Lantern Festival overseas.  Zigong Lantern Group® are the original pioneers who brought this cultural lantern exhibition into the North American and other overseas markets. 

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