Ancient Woodlands to transform into Chinese New Year Festival

One of Britain’s biggest Chinese New Year festivals launches at Robin Hill Country Park’s ancient island woodlands

As darkness falls, Robin Hill Country Park on the Isle of Wight is set to transform into Spirit of the Orient, an award-winning electric woods event, and one of the UK’s biggest festivals celebrating Chinese New Year.

From 6.30-9pm between 15th and 23rd February, a dazzling fusion of sound, colour, illuminations and oriental flavours will mark the global event amid ancient, 88-acre woodlands, capturing the spirit of one of the world’s most popular celebrations. Featuring impressive new light exhibits, a 12-metre long dragon procession, new interactive woodland light shows, traditional lion dances, Chinese street food, entertainment and crafts, the festival marks the year of the Earth Pig and the traditional Chinese concept of ‘Wu Xing’.

Wu Xing light exhibits to Britain’s biggest festival lantern

After dark, a dazzling array of coloured oriental statues, lanterns and over 4,500 lights will bring the woodlands to life. Discover amazing 3D magical water projections that ‘float’ on lakes, Britain’s biggest Chinese festival lantern (made of smaller lanterns) and a new ‘Cascading Bridge’ light exhibit including impressive omni-directional sound, light, projection and pyrotechnics.

Featuring five beautiful colours and sounds, the show mimics the fivefold concept of ‘Wu Xing’ (wood, fire, earth, metal and water) in traditional Chinese culture. Wu Xing is used to explain physical phenomena, from medicine and military strategy to politics and the arts.

Traditional Chinese lion dancing goes digital

Overlooking projections on the woodland ponds, four white lion performers accompanied by a 50-strong pride of digital lions, sound effects and pyrotechnics will take to an LED-lit stage for a spectacular, illuminated dance show. Expertly choreographed, the performances are based on the traditional Chinese lion dance, in which performers mimic a big cat’s movements while dressed as a lion to bring good fortune.

Whatever their zodiac signs, guests can also get involved in an array of exciting oriental-themed activities and entertainment at the park, including the chance to:

  • Discover, and even go inside part of, a 12-metre long Chinese dragon procession as it meanders its way around the park’s woodland ponds. Legendary in Chinese mythology, dragons traditionally symbolise power, strength and good luck
  • Enter the ‘Temple of the Giants’, an interactive astrology-inspired experience hidden amongst three huge redwood trees. Using a touchscreen interface, visitors change customise their own show on the floating walkway by modifying the style of the lighting and music.
  • Tie hopes and wishes to the park’s ‘wishing tree’. A symbol of good fortune, legend has that the higher the wish on tree, the more likely it is to come true
  • Design your own Chinese lanterns before lighting them and carrying them around the woodlands
  • Hold birds of prey, such as owls and falcons, and watch them soar through the skies
  • Savour the delights of an authentic oriental menu, including speciality Chinese pork dishes, served by the atmospheric woodland ponds. Guests can also to toast marshmallows on an open brazier

Owned by Vectis Ventures, Robin Hill boasts 88-acres of ancient woodlands popular with everyone from families and children to discerning couples, wildlife enthusiasts and gardeners such as Alan Titchmarsh.