Heading to the second city for the first time this Christmas, the Magical Lantern Festival has been treated to a true Brummie welcome. Since tickets went on sale a month ago, Birmingham has led the way in national ticket sales, with over 16,000 tickets being snapped up by the West Midlands.

For the first time, the Magical Lantern Festival organisers have released images of what spectators can expect from the festive extravaganza, with one very-familiar face taking pride of place in Birmingham’s display. The family show will be illuminating Birmingham Botanical Gardens from 25 November 2016 to 2 January 2017 and is set to be an unmissable spectacle this season.

A fusion of art, heritage and culture, the Magical Lantern Festival will be exhibiting lanterns like you’ve never seen before: guests’ first glimpse of Christmas at Birmingham Botanical Gardens will be a giant 12-metre wide lantern entrance, which lights the way to a stunning trail around the gardens. From Santa and his reindeers to flowers and animals, these giant lanterns will light up the beautiful ponds, woodland, gardens and pathways of the Birmingham attraction.

Birmingham is one of three cities to host these mesmerising creations: both Leeds and London will be showcasing the lanterns too, making the Magical Lantern Festival a truly national event. So far, Birmingham has bought as many tickets as Leeds and London have combined, pioneering the way for the rest of the country.

Bringing together the traditional Chinese art-form, the quintessentially British landscapes, and the fun of the festive season, the show will also feature lanterns that pay homage to the three cities. Brummie visitors will be pleased to hear that one of Birmingham’s best-loved icons – the Bullring Bull – will be brought to light in the form of a 3.5 metre replica lantern.

Event Director, Naz Kabir from Weli Creative, the team behind Magical Lantern Festival, said:

“Birmingham’s reaction to the Magical Lantern Festival has been incredible! We are so pleased that the people of the city are as excited to attend Christmas at Birmingham Botanical Gardens as we are to hold it. We hope that we can help make this season special for Birmingham and that everyone will join us this Christmas. Our very first festival in London, earlier this year, welcomed over 110,000 visitors; with the way that tickets are selling already, the chances of replicating this success in Birmingham look better than we even imagined!”

These unique, artistic and beautifully constructed installations are tailor-made in China and brought over to Birmingham especially for the event. Joining Santa and his reindeer will be a beautiful 12-metre wide lantern scene featuring penguins, snowmen, Christmas trees and baubles.

Christmas at Birmingham Botanical Gardens is the perfect festive event for families and groups of friends, bringing Chinese culture to life in the heart of the Midlands. There will also be a Santa’s grotto for children, and a range of international food and drink stalls. 

Tickets are on sale now, priced at £12.50 adults, £10.50 concessions, £8.50 children and £38 for a family ticket. For more information about the festival and to book tickets, visit


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