Baie des Lumières: Chinese Lantern Festival
Want to have a unique adventure this winter season in Nice? Nice’s Phoenix Park will shine for a one-of-a-kind Chinese lantern festival: the Baie de Lumieres (Bay of Light), a festival of Chinese culture in Nice, France.
The gardens of Phoenix Park will light up with 550 hand-built lanterns in 50 colorful and vivid displays of lights depicting ancient Chinese history and folklore. The festival is designed to take you on a journey through Chinese traditions, and the park is illuminated with scenes of daily life and magical landscapes.
There are also other Chinese-related events such as cultural shows, martial arts demos, and traditional dances.
The festival will also follow key dates in the Chinese calendar. It includes the Chinese New Year on January 25 and the Lantern Festival on February 8. (Note: We strongly discourage releasing lanterns into the sky. Here’s why.)
The Chinese Lanterns
The festival required 30 shipping containers of material, 60 days of transport and 40 days for a team of about 40 workers to hand-build the lantern structures on-site. Each and every piece (except the 40 terracotta soldier replicas) are constructed of an iron frame covered in hand-painted silk.
You should not miss the 18-meter-tall ‘Great Wall of China’, panda bears, and the magnificent dragons with pearls. Kids will definitely love seeing them!
Two 50-meter-long double dragons stand as guards on the lake. Feel their energy with their flowing mane and majestic colors. They are sure to shoo away any bad luck!
Other displays include scenes of daily life and glimpses of China. They become more magical with the fairy-tale-like portrayal.
For foodies, a unique food experience awaits you in the Food Corners with Chinese and Western delicacies. Make sure to taste Tanghulu, sugar-coated fruit skewers, and other Chinese sweets.
The Chinese Cultural Shows
Each show will allow you to discover:
Peacock Dance: A traditional dance performance of the DAI ethnic group dedicated to the peacock, the sacred animal symbol of good omen and happiness.
Mask Dance: The master of Bian Lian comes to meet you in traditional costume. With surprising dexterity, he changed masks several times. According to the rules of Bian Lian, the movement must be imperceptible to the spectators. Incredible and surprising performance.
Tea Ceremony: Gong Fu Cha is a unique and fun way to prepare tea. The master uses an elongated teapot that he spins to serve the tea thanks to a fluid and harmonious choreography.
Kung Fu Demonstrations: Find the performance of the Kung Fu masters, ten minutes of a breathtaking live performance!
Show Times: 6:15pm / 7:15pm / 8:15pm
The #NICEBDL Photocall: Immortalize the memories of this unique ride on the festival photocall at 9:15pm.
Details for the 2020 Baie des lumieres Festival
Event Type: Arts & Culture Festival
Dates: November 29, 2021, to February 23, 2022
Timing: Wednesday to Sunday from 6pm to 11pm. Cultural shows at 6:15pm, 7:15pm, and 8:15pm. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
Cost: €17, children under 5 are free; €46 for a family pack (2 adults and 2 children).
Website: Official Baie des Lumieres Website
Location: Parc Phoenix (a botanical garden & zoo) near the Nice Airport. Visitor access by the entrance on Avenue Charles Buchet (on the Arénas district side). Take the tram to Line 2: Parc Phoenix.
Transportation: Check out our guide to Nice’s transportation options.