When we were in Thailand Mitch and I released lanterns on the beach in Krabi with a group of travelers. Afterwards, everyone laid out blankets watching the little lights rise higher and higher into the night. I distinctly remember feeling something incredibly special had just happened, brought on by doing one tiny act simultaneously.
Now, you can experience a breathtaking lantern festival right here in the US. Rise Festival just announced two new festival dates for 2015 - the Mojave Desert on October 10th and outside of Phoenix on November, 7th.
A New Beginning
At Rise, attendees gather with friends and family for an evening of eating and drinking (think gourmet food and Laugnitas beers) while they prepare their wish lanterns. Each lantern signifies something unique for the person sending it off into the sky, a resolution, a hope, a dream, a wish. After sunset the first round of lanterns are released in unison sending a collective message into the universe. Imagine a dark night sky filled with thousands of flickering lights, each one representing a new beginning. For more inspiration, check out the Rise Festival Instagram account.
THE BEST PART
The best part about Rise is that they run a completely sustainable operation. The lanterns are 100% biodegradable and Rise is held on grounds specifically large enough to account for how far the lanterns soar across the sky. The next day, the Rise team picks up each and every lantern (as well as any other trash found in the area), to uphold their "leave no trace" message.
Isn't this magical? I would love to be surrounded by thousands of flickering lanterns in the middle of the desert. If you are nearby either location, check it out. I'm sure it would be a surreal evening.