Sunday, March 3, 2013

Sky Lantern Show

Inspiration for a dream can come at the most random time, doing the most random things. While babysitting two beautiful little girls, I decided I could not tolerate another Taylor Swift dance party, so we popped in a movie. It was Disney's latest film Tangled. Near the end of the movie there was a magical scene where hundreds of people lit paper lanterns and let them lift up into the night sky. It was beautiful how they slowly raised and lit up the sky like hundreds of nearby stars that were slowly drifting away.

I knew these lantern displays existed in real life but had not realized how unspeakably beautiful they could be or where exactly they originated from. So of course I googled it.

Sky Lanterns are also called Kongming Lantern or Chinese Lanterns. Kongming was the name used to address a military man of the name Zhuge Liang who was said to use these lanterns as a message when surrounded by an enemy. Kongming is also a type of hat that guy was seen wearing alot that the lanterns look like, so history is a little sketchy. Because of him though, in China they are still referred to as Kongming Lanterns.

 Lantern Festivals are popular in many asian cultures. In Taiwan there is an annual sky lantern display in Pingxi District in New Taipei City.

In Thailand sky lanterns are used during the Lanna Li Peng festival which occurs during a full moon. The festival is a time to obtain Buddhist Merit and more recently the lanterns have just become so popular they are an every day part of the culture. They are used for play, decorating, and of course festivals.

Video does not qualify as seeing this spectacular event in person but wow is it amazing to watch. I have spent hours watching YouTube Videos of these festivals and it is just motivation to get out there and see one in person. Here is one of my favorite videos:

If you go up and click on the image of Sky Lanterns you can actually buy a set of them and put on your own mini display. Be careful though, many countries have outlawed these magnificent lanterns due to concerns of fires, I found one that was affordable and 100% biodegradable and flame retardant so hopefully you can have some fun over a lake or ocean with these.

For me I hope I can find a Lantern Festival somewhere in the United States in the near future. I would love to knock this one off the list. In the mean time if someone wants to buy some lanterns and put on a mini display, I'll be there!

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