Oh, it is so nice to be blogging again. Don’t get me wrong, nursing school is great, but being unable to go out and do stuff is stressful and it makes me sad 😦 . But fear not! I feel a blog storm about to hit, and I’m super excited.
In my mother’s homeland (Taiwan), every year they hold a Lantern Festival. This festival is regarded as one of the most important and romantic events in Taiwan. Originally, this festival was held in celebration of the coming of spring, longer days, and the hopes for great harvest. Over the years, it has morphed into more of a tourist attraction in Taiwan. Now, the festival is meant to be a symbolic event.
When you get a lantern, you’re supposed to write either your worries or your wishes down. When the night comes, you light the lantern, and watch it float away, hoping that with it goes your worries, and hoping that some higher power will listen to your wishes.
Ever since Tangled romanticized this festival, it has become a Must-See event. Vegas has a large one every summer, and Salt Lake City has been trying to make it an annual festival in Utah for the past couple years, now. When Isabelle and I saw tickets for this, we jumped on the band wagon right away.
It was really cold. Like freezing. We were not prepared at all. For some silly reason, as I was leaving my apartment, I was thinking “Oh..maybe I’ll need a sweater…maybe I’ll need some boots…Nah, I’ll be okay.”
I was never more wrong in my entire life. I had just a flimsy windbreaker, a blanket, and an umbrella. Luckily, it didn’t rain on us, but it was so windy. We were cuddled together for a solid 2 or 3 hours before the wind finally died down and we lit the fire.
To help us keep warm, we ate waffles.
The venue was catered by foodtrucks, so when Waffle Love is around, you have to get waffles. It’s just commonsense. Isabelle’s was a bit more decadent than mine…
And because we’re science nerds, what did we do to pass the time?
Obviously we aren’t great at math and puzzles. We never even got one side fully solved. Oh well.
When we finally got our fires started, we opened our little boxes that came with our lanterns when we walked through the entrance.
You’ve gotta have s’mores if there is a campfire, am I right?
Eventually, the night drew darker, and we started prepping for the release.
We all wrote down our worries and wishes. Symbolically hopeful for a brighter future.
The festival has more to it, such as hulahoop contests, egg tosses, bouncy houses, a mechanical bull, and a live performance. But we know what we were all there for.
After the winds had slowed, and the sky was dark, we were finally allowed to start lighting our lanterns.
It’s definitely a team effort. If you don’t have some one helping you, you’re bound to set your whole lantern on fire. It also takes time for the lantern to fill with hot air. It fills faster when you bring the lantern to the ground.
And before you know it..
It was beautiful. And they played the best music to go with it, if you’re into the sappy romantic stuff. Josh Groban’s To Where You Are, Tangled’s I See the Light, Elton John’s Tiny Dancer. It was so beautiful. I may have teared up a little.
Even as I’m putting this together, I’m listening to To Where You Are, and looking at these pictures makes me want to cry all over again. It really is such a humbling and beautiful experience.
If it’s around next year, GO. Just do it. But if it’s been raining all week, pack warm clothes, a cooler with some foods, blankets, and some camp chairs, and you’ll be set.
I may have died a little and gone to heaven last night.
Mary Jane xx
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