I participated in the Lantern Fest last night. I had seen a video a friend had posted and it looked like a fun experience so when I was invited I was excited to go!
Upon arrival we were given our lanterns, some crayons to draw on the lantern with, a lighter, and then it was time to find a spot to place our “camp”.
We arrived about an hour before sunset and there was already a large crowd set up with fire pits scattered about. They give you a s’mores kit and if you don’t have a fire pit to melt your marshmellows at your camp, you simply use one nearby.
The vibe of the crowd was amazing. It is a family-friendly environment and people were chill. I loved the feel of the crowd. The music was ideal; a solo artist playing an acoustic mixed set of his original music and some familiar tunes.
The lanterns were to be decorated with what was important to you. I put my biggest regret, a few personal thoughts, and my hope for my days to come. Then the time came to let it go – symbolic.
There is no actual description that I can give that would allow anyone to understand the magnitude of seeing thousands of lanterns floating up in the dark sky, mingling with the stars like fireflies. It was breathtaking and my tears began as I watched my lantern float up among the other lanterns. You could feel the emotion in the air. We all felt it. This was when I realized that as a whole, people are good. This is real life. It’s not the nastiness that the media feeds us, it’s this – this beautiful moment with thousands of other people, that was real.
Given another opportunity, I will do this over and over again. It was cathartic….healing.