Artists add sparkle to UK’s largest light festival

Skilled artists from Zigong in China’s Sichuan province have created thousands of giant illuminated lanterns as part of The Festival of Light at Longleat.

Among the artworks is a trio of life-size porcelain elephants, made from thousands of individual Chinese plates, bowls, cups and spoons.

Other highlights include a 20-metre-tall birthday cake to celebrate 50 years of Longleat Safari Park, a group of Longleat’s monkeys dismantling a car, and an avenue of four-metre-high lions.

The festival also features dozens of characters from Beatrix Potter’s favourite stories – including Peter Rabbit, Mrs Tiggy-Winkle, Jemima Puddle-Duck and Jeremy Fisher – to mark the 150th anniversary of her birth in 2016.

The lanterns – many of which were built on site due to their size – have created a series of massive illuminated outdoor tableaux at the Wiltshire estate.

The event is said to be the biggest ever staged in the UK and features more than 2,500 individual lights, 20km of silk, more than 30,000 bulbs and more than 4km of LED lighting.