I have been travelling recently and have seen some magical Lantern displays in various countries around the world.
In Taiwan, Chinese Lanterns are lit and released during the Taiwan Lantern Festival, to mark the Lunar new year. ¬†I saw literally thousands of lanterns floating away in the night sky, especially in Pingxi district – a wonderful place to be at this time of year.
In Lanna, North Thailand, lanterns are common all year long, but I happened to be there during Yi Peng. ¬†This festival, like many others in this part of the world, is held on the full moon of the 12th month – usually November according to the Thai calendar. ¬†I witnessed thousands of graceful Chinese Lanterns being released – symbol of worries and problems floating away.
I also saw magnificent sights in Phuket. ¬†Being a tourist destination, it is almost expected that you will see Chinese Lantern displays nearly every week, making sure holidays makers and travellers go home with tales of magical sights in the sky.
However, it was in China that I saw the best sights. ¬†The Lantern Festival or Yuan-Xiao Festival, on the 15th day of the first lunar month in the Chinese calendar, is when families pray for luck and traditionally, houses are decorated with light lanterns. ¬†Many varied activities take place during the day, but in the evening, Chinese Lanterns are released with wishes written on them for the gods to receive the messages and give blessings. ¬†It was a wonderful experience to be there at this time and one I hope to repeat next year.