Montreal’s Botanical Garden lantern festival a feast of light

Designed in Montreal and produced in China, hundreds of lanterns illuminate the Botanical Garden for the 20th anniversary celebrations of the Garden of Light.

 The nearly 1,000 lanterns tell the tale of the Feast of Peaches, hosted by the Queen Mother of the West. Xi Wang Mu’s peaches of immortality take 3,000 years to ripen and are served to select guests by the queen herself.

The lights are warm on cool autumn nights and the paths are hushed, even when crowded with visitors. There are dragons to discover under the shadow of the Olympic Stadium’s funicular, and horses, and people in fine, bright clothing.

New this year is the Japanese Garden, a tableau designed “to emphasize the loveliest parts of the garden.” Coloured lights shimmer against rocks and beautifully shaped bushes; trees are uplit in a slow and sultry pattern.

The path in the Japanese Garden is uneven and quite dark. In places, blue lights along the footpath shine too brightly upward, blinding visitors. Guests with reduced mobility should use caution.

The Garden of Light is open daily until 9 pm, until November 4. $17.75, seniors $16.75. 4101 Sherbrooke E. 514-872-1400.


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