The Calgary Zoo in Calgary, Alberta, Canada will present ILLUMASIA, a Lantern & Garden Festival from Sept. 17 to Nov. 1, 2015. The zoo will be lit with handcrafted Chinese lanterns in animal shapes, bringing attention to important Chinese symbols. Lectures, culinary experiences and plant displays will be part of this exhibition. This is the first festival of its kind in Western Canada.
With its focus on Chinese, Japanese and Indian traditions and culture, tea will play a key role. Not only will tea sommeliers will be on hand providing information and guidance, but the focus of the gardening component is all about Camellia sinensis.
China will be the highlight in late September. In addition to tea being served during the Chinese Culinary Experience, the main topic of the Chinese Gardening Program event on September 25th will be the Camellia sinensis. The hands on program will teach guests how to steep green tea, and will offer chocolate and green tea pairings and information about the history of tea in China.
Japan takes the stage in early October with green tea served during the Japanese Culinary Experience. In the October 1st gardening class, attendees will learn about Japanese tea gardens and tea ceremony and experience a taiko drumming concert. This class will include a day trip to the Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens in Lethbridge, Alberta.
In late October India is the focus in the India Garden Program on October 23 with a talk on Indian tea history and pairings of tea and spirits.
A multicultural experience ends the festival.
The show will be open on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets for the exhibit are $18 for children and $25 for adults with an additional fee for special programs.