sky lantern festival

Feel the emotion of a massive Lantern Festival

Imagine thousands of glowing lanterns rising ponderously into the desert sky, in an environmetal lantern festival. Devin Graham (alias DevinSupertramp), know for his extreme sport and fantasy cinematography, shows us the story telling skills that makes him so popular in the travel industry too. For more about Devin visit the bio page of DevinSupertramp, Youtuber and cinematographer.

DevinSupertramp captures the Lantern Fest perfectly for Youtube…

The emotions that come pouring out when people witness the tranquillity and beauty of thousands of lanterns floating through the night landscape tells the story. Whether it’s the special written messages on the paper lanterns that people are letting go of, or the sheer grandeur of it all, it’s hard to say, but lantern festivals are taking off (pun intended) in popularity. “If only there was a more environmental way of doing it” so many people sigh. Well, the organisers are listening, and amazing, sustainable options are on the rise!

Lantern Festivals started off in China 2,000 years ago as part of the Spring Lantern Festivals festivities that mark the final day of the traditional Chinese New Year celebrations (February/March in the Gregorian calendar). Over time they spread though Asia, first as hanging and colourfully shaped lanterns***(see below) but over time they included the floating sky lanterns that have gain such popularity now.

Nowadays, the Pingxi Sky Lantern festival an hour’s drive from Taipei in Taiwan, and Chiang Mai’s Yi Peng lantern festival can see tens or hundreds of thousands of sky-lanterns released. They are epic and awe-inspiring, but the clamour of voices questioning the environmental impact is growing. Such a multitude of lanterns can cause fires, kill wildlife, and pollute the environment. Traditional lanterns were made of bamboo and cotton, or joss paper only, but more modern versions often involve wire, chemical coatings to rain proof the lanterns, and/or fuel cells. While the big festivals in Asia are discussing what they can do to maintain traditions but reduce the environmental impact, growing organisations across the world are showing how it can be done.

Rise Lantern Festival in the Mojave desert in the U.S…

Companies like Rise (Mojave desert in the U.S., Dubai, Australia) and Lantern Fest (currently 15 states in the U.S.) both list an impressive list of things they do to ensure their festivals are environmental, including using:

  • -lanterns made with 100 percent biodegradable rice paper, bamboo and string
  • -small biodegradable fuel cells that have a burn time of 3-4 minutes so that lanterns extinguish before landing and don’t travel far
  • –locations where they can collect all the lanterns
  • teams isolating and monitoring the landing area with fire extinguishers
  • -‘Leave It Better Than We Found It’ policies (picking up rubbish they find in landing zones)
  • -carbon-offset recovery vehicles

So now you can witness these incredible spectacles with a clear conscience.

Tips:

Take your pictures and videos on the first launch as the lanterns tend to be released much more in unison on the first release

These events have improved parking enormously just in the last year but go early to find a great spot. There’s lots of local entertainment.

Bring a torch.

When:

Varies

Where:

Here is the location of the Rise, Mojave desert, Las Vegas, site but many other events are available.

*** These LAND BASED (non flying) lanterns are amazing events on their own. For example:

  • -Magical Lantern Festival London at Chiswick House & Gardens
  • -Qinhuai International Lantern Festival (the biggest in China) at Confucius Temple, Qinhuai Scenic Zone, Nanjing, China.
  • -Xiamen Lantern Festival at Yuanboyuan Garden, Xiamen City, China.
  • -Shanghai Datuan Peach Garden Lantern Festival at Datuan Town, Pudong New District, Shanghai
  • -Guangzhou Yuexiu Park Lantern Fair in Guangzhou, China.
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