The Missouri Botanical Garden will host a Chinese lantern festival next year.
The exhibition—the first of its kind in the United States—will feature 26 large, brightly-colored lantern displays from China's Zigong province.
Saint Louis Mayor Francis Slay says next year's exhibition will help attract tourism and showcase Saint Louis as a global destination. “People when they come to our city and they experience it, they like it,” Slay said. “And that can only help us long-term, in terms of just promoting ourselves not only nationally but internationally.”
Garden President Peter Wyse Jackson says the Garden has worked with Chinese institutions for more than 25 years to publish a comprehensive flora of China.
That 24-volume publication describes China’s more than 30,000 native plants, about 8,000 of which have been used for medicinal purposes.
Wyse Jackson says 2012 will be a “Year of China” at the Garden, with the lantern exhibition as its centerpiece.
“It celebrates the completion of the flora of China, but also our ongoing links with a country that’s so rich in plant resources and where the history of gardening in China goes back two-and-a-half thousand years,” Wyse Jackson said.
The lantern exhibition will run for three months starting at the end of May, 2012.
Here is a slideshow of artist renderings of the lanterns planned to be on display during the exhibition.
(via the Missouri Botanical Garden on Flickr)