CHINA LIGHT FESTIVAL
All information at a glance
There again - with spectacular new light installations:
The China Light Festival from December 7 to January 19 in the Cologne Zoo
Extra for the 160th anniversary of the zoo - for the first time to see light figures related to Cologne and the history of the zoo
This is literally a real highlight: on December 7, 2019, the China Light Festival begins in the Cologne Zoo. It is the third edition of the big color spectacle for the whole family. It attracted around 100,000 visitors last year. You can see again numerous light ensembles with atmospheric illuminated animal and fantasy figures in Asian style.
New this year are unique exhibits with references to the history of the zoo - such as the old "playground locomotive" or the historic entrance gate. The occasion is the 160th anniversary celebrating the Zoo 2020. Also new are various interactive figures. Anyone who has ever wanted to run through the mouth of a 22-meter-long giant shark - at the China Light Festival, he has the chance. The figures were built by Chinese Illuminations artists. Their imaginative and, in comparison to previous years, once again extended lighting course with environmentally friendly LED lights extends over the entire zoo grounds. An attractive supporting program with Chinese artistry and artisans as well as various gastronomic offers complete the lightshow as usual.
The animal houses are closed during the evening China Light Festival.
At a glance
What? China Light Festival in the Cologne Zoo
When? 9 December 2019 to 19 January 2020; daily 5.30pm - 9pm (except on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve)
Prices in 3 categories *:
1. Date bound tickets
Date bound tickets (in the VVK, day after choice while stocks last or box office)
Regular: adults: 17,50 €; Children: € 9 (4 to 12 years old); Children up to 3 years: free of charge
For annual passes and members of the Zoo Sponsoring Association: adults: 15,50€; Children: 7,50€ (4 to 12 years old); Children under 3 years free of charge * Entrance fees apply in category I. & II exclusively for the evening China Light Festival after Zoo closure
2. Flexible Voucher
"Voucher" is the voucher ticket that can be used once during the entire event period on a day of your choice
Adult: 21 €; Children: 10,50 € (4 to 12 years old); Children under 3 years free of charge * Entrance fees apply in category I. & II exclusively for the evening China Light Festival after Zoo closure
3. Combi ticket
In addition, there is a combination ticket (for zoo visit and visit China Light Festival) at the Zookasse on the same day: adults: 30 €; Children: 15 € (4 to 12 years inclusive); Children up to 3 years: free of charge
All tickets - except combi-tickets and tickets for annual ticket holders and members of the Zoo Society - will soon also be available online at www.koelnerzoo.de
From shining dragons and shining tigers
Let's start with the march through the impressive Greeting Gate. On the occasion of the 160 zoo's existence, it is modelled on the historic entrance portal with two stags.
Highlights from the history of zoos
Marvel at exotic arts. In addition to walking through the world of lights, visitors can also look forward to the supporting programme. br>
I. Times & Tickets
When will the China Light Festival take place?
- 7 December 2019 to 19 January 2020; daily 17.30 - 21.00 o’clock
- Attention: On Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve there will be no China Light-Festival.
Do I have to enter prompt at 17.30 o'clock, in order to be able to see all light figures?
- No, it takes about 1.5 to 2 hours to complete the tour. It's quite enough to come in around 18 or 19 o'clock, in order to be able to enjoy the entire Parcours and the master program in all peace.
- If you arrive after 17:30 o’clock, you can avoid long queues at the entrance (particularly on weekends and visitor-strong days around Christmas).
Where can I buy the tickets?
- Buy your ticket online at www.koelnerzoo.de and avoid long queues at the box office. Tickets are also available at KölnTicket and all well-known ticket agencies for advance booking.
- There will also be an evening box office sale.
- Online tickets from advance sale are also valid for public transport (Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Sieg).
How much is the entrance fee?
- There are prizes in 3 categories*:
- Date bound tickets
Advance booking: day of your choice while stocks last or evening box office
Regular: adults: 17,50€; children: 9€ (4 up to and including 12 years); children up to 3 years: free of charge
For annual tickets and members of the Zoo-sponsoring association: adults: 15,50€; children: 7,50€ (4 up to and including 12 years); children up to 3 years: free of charge
- Flexible ticket - also the best choice for giving as a gift
"Voucher" is the voucher ticket, which can be used once during the entire event period on a day of your choice.
adults: 21€; children: 10,50€ (4 up to and including 12 years); children up to 3 years: free of charge
*Admission prices in category 1 & 2 apply exclusively to the evening China Light Festival after Zoo closure.
Additionally there is a combi-ticket (for zoo visit and visit China Light-Festival) only available at the zoo cash desk on the same day: adults: 30€; children: 15€ (4 up to and including 12 years); children up to 3 years: free of charge
Do the tickets only refer to the China Light Festival - or is it linked to visiting the zoo during the day?
- You can exclusively visit the China Light Festival without any problems.
Is the Köln Pass valid?
- No, due to the very high effort required for this special event, the Köln Pass is not valid.
What has to be considered with regard to the supervision of children?
- Children up to and including the age of 12 may only enter the Cologne Zoo accompanied by an adult who is subject to supervision.
Where can I park?
- Limited parking is available, for example, under the “Zoobrücke” bridge or in the “Zooparkhaus” multi-storey car park.
Can I rent a handcart or carry my own?
- We ask for your understanding that it is generally not possible to borrow a zoo's own handcart or a private handcart due to the danger of stumbling in the dark at the zoo.
II. Supporting programme
What does the supporting programme consist of?
- We offer daily halfhourlong shows. The show program takes place daily at 18.30 and 20 o'clock. It will take place at the stage at our Zoo-Restaurant.
- Various artists alternate between show, dance and acrobatics.
- The zoo gastronomy offers Asian snacks at various points along the light tour. The Zoo Restaurant is open throughout the evening during the Festival of Lights.
III. Animal houses & aquarium
Are the animal houses open?
- No, the animal houses are closed during the China Light Festival.
Can animals be seen in total?
- The China Light Festival is not an animal event, but a festival of lights. Due to the darkness and the time of day, the vast majority of the animals will not be seen.
Will the animals be disturbed by the China Light Festival?
- The majority of the animals spend the night in their enclosures. Therefore they don't notice anything about the China Light-Festival. The animals, which are also outdoors at night, are not susceptible to light effects.
IV. Novelties of this year's edition
I've been there before - is it worth visiting again?
- Yes, there are numerous innovations, for example unique exhibits with references to the history of the zoo - such as the old "playground locomotive" or the historic entrance gate. The occasion is the 160th anniversary of the Zoo 2020.
- Also new are various interactive figures. Anyone who has ever wanted to walk through the mouth of a 22-meter-long giant shark has the chance to do so at the China Light Festival.
- In addition, this year's lights tour is even bigger and more varied than last year. It extends over the entire zoo area. So the visit is definitely worth it for everyone who has already been there in the past two years.
V. Chinese Partners & Development
Who is behind the China Light Festival? Where did you get the materials from?
- We cooperate with a Chinese cultural event organizer who markets the China Light Festival worldwide.
- Some of the original materials were brought from China to Cologne by ship. Another part comes from a warehouse in the Netherlands.
- By the way, the figures are also very nice to look at in bright light.
How many light ensembles will be set up?
- Almost 70 elaborate lighting ensembles with animal and fantasy figures will be set up in and around the zoo.
- Among the highlights are a 40 meter long and 6 meter high giant dragon (this time set up in front of the zoo entrance), a 20 meter long light corridor with Chinese mythical figures, illuminated meerkats, bears, leopards and flamingos, oversized light swans reflected on the zoo pond, illuminated jaguars and sloths, a 5 meter high giant octopus, the colorful light toucan with its colorful XXL beak and oversized elephants, okapis, bears or puffer fish, the colorful light toucan with its colorful XXL beak and oversized elephants, bears or puffer fish. - An oversized surprise figure also adorns the meadows for the Old Elephant House. The peacock and butterfly photo spots, in which visitors become part of the light figure and can interactively adorn themselves with foreign feathers, also provide beautiful perspectives. The historic lighting ensembles from the history of the zoo, "Hennes IX." in full splendour - to name but a few - are also included.
How does the construction work?
- 29 Chinese lighting artists are responsible for the installation and cabling.
- With loving attention to detail, they assembled each and every one of the animal figures. Together, the illumination artists put in about 6,500 working hours into the project.
What will the figures be made of?
- The fitters first built the wind-permeable scaffolding made of welded steel wire.
- They then covered them with printed nylon fabric.
- Around 23,000 environmentally friendly LED lights make the handmade unique pieces shine.
- The largest exhibits are the impressive greeting gate, the giant dragon on the meadow in front of the zoo entrance, the XXL shark to walk through at the side entrance and the giant surprise figure on the meadow opposite the old elephant house.
History of Cologne Zoo
Visit the exciting permanent exhibition on the history of our zoo at the exhibition hall of the Rainforest House.
Save the songbirds
We display a faithful replica of an original Asian bird market in our Tropical House exhibition. In doing so, we want to draw attention to the capture of wild songbirds in Asia and how this impacts the dramatic disappearance of songbirds.
Fachkundige Experten berichten über spannende Themen rund um das Zooleben, über aktuelle zoologische Forschungsergebnisse und Natur- und Artenschutzprojekte. Die Vorträge sind kostenfrei. Die Vorträge finden in den Monaten Oktober bis März jeden zweiten Dienstag im Monat im Zoo-Event am "Alten Stammheimer Weg" statt (direkt gegenüber dem Eingang zur Flora). Parkmöglichkeiten finden Sie unter der Zoobrücke.
Die nächsten Vorträge:
Dienstag, 9. Oktober 2018, 19.30 Uhr
Peter Herkenrath, Vogelschutzwarte im Landesamt für Natur, Umwelt und Verbraucherschutz Nordrhein-Westfalen
„Steinkauz, Rosaflamingo & Co - Vogelschutz in Nordrhein-Westfalen“
Dienstag, 13. November 2018, 19.30 Uhr
Simon Bruslund, Zoo Heidelberg
„Silent forest - die asiatische Singvogelkrise“
Dienstag, 11. Dezember 2018, 19.30 Uhr
Prof. Dr. Christoph Scherber, Institut für Landschaftsökologie der Universität Münster
„Der Rückgang der Insektenvielfalt in Deutschland - was wissen wir, und was muss getan werden?"
Dienstag, 8. Januar 2019, 19.30 Uhr
Dr. Nora Weyer, Alfred-Wegener-Insitut, Bremen
„Leben am Limit - Erdferkel in der Kalahari"
Dienstag, 12. Februar 2019, 19.30 Uhr
Dr. Alexander Sliwa, Kölner Zoo
„Schwarzfußkatzen - Neues aus der Freilandforschung"
Dienstag, 12. März 2019, 19.30 Uhr
Barbara Fruth & Gottfried Hohmann, Vorstände Bonobo Alive
„Bonobos im kongolesischen Regenwald - Maßnahmen für ein nachhaltiges Miteinander von Mensch und Tier"
Die Vorträge finden in den Räumen der Zoogastronomie am „Alten Stammheimer Weg“ statt. Bitte benutzen Sie den Eingang „Zoo-Event“ (direkt gegenüber dem Eingang zur Flora).