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Another awesome lighting

The annual lighting of the Osmanthus Gardens has again been an “amazing success”, with an estimated 10,000 people taking in the spectacle.

It was the eighth year of the lighting of the gardens, which celebrates the sister city relationship between Guilin, China, and Hastings, now 36 years old. The gardens were lit from Thursday through to Sunday nights, with the most visitors flowing through on the Saturday night. “Every night was huge, but the Saturday night it was stretched to absolute capacity,” said organiser Hastings District councillor Kevin Watkins.

Mr Watkins endeavours to add new features every year. This year it was new lotus lanterns.

The lotus flower is very special to the Chinese, he said. “It is regarded in China as one of the top 10 flowers.  It is a remarkable flower, noted not only for its ability to grow in muddy ponds, but also for its beautiful colours, size, and the richness of its symbolism.”

For the first time this year Mr Watkins ran a koha system, raising funds to be able to increase the additions to the gardens.

“We want to be able to continue to surprise and delight our visitors. It is particularly wonderful to see the children’s eyes light up at all the different sights around every corner, from sparkles in the grass to ‘coloured’ trees and, of course, the lanterns.”

Setting up the annual lighting festival is no mean feat. It takes a team of 12 about nine hours to install; laying hundreds metres of cable and thousands of bulbs through the trees, along the paths and over the water, Mr Watkins said.

4 October 2017

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