About two weeks ago, my family attended Hopes in the Sky – a benefit event organized by the UPLB student council. Lanterns were sold to raise funds for the victims of Typhoon Sendong. They also invited some local bands and dance groups to perform that night.
My mom bought 4 lanterns for the event, one for each of us. Ezra and I were pretty excited because it’s been a while since we last saw floating lanterns. We used to see them every year in Myanmar during the Tazaungdaing Festival (AKA Festival of Lights). I remember that we used to go out to our balcony to watch the lanterns at night.
(I saw a lot of floating lanterns during our stay in Myanmar, but I only have two experiences where I actually released one. The first was during my 7th grade field study to Kyaik Htee Yo – our teachers bought some lanterns and we lit them outside the cottages where we stayed at. The second time was when my mom bought one lantern during the Tazaungdaing Festival and we released it right outside our house – it hovered above us for a while but the wind got to it and I think it crashed somewhere in our neighbor’s backyard. Luckily their house didn’t burn down.)
Anyway, the event started around 7pm but the lanterns weren’t released until around 9:30pm. We were actually supposed to light them all together but a few people got a little impatient and lit their lanterns early during one of the band performances. I can’t really blame them though, the organizers did say 7pm . I’m sure most students wouldn’t mind staying up late to wait for the big event, but the fundraiser was open to everyone – including families with kids (and parents XD) who have bedtimes. I even heard that some people from the next town also came to watch the lanterns.
I managed to take some pictures of the very first lantern that was lit that night:
Away she goes~
After the first lantern was released, many people started to light theirs too – including us:
My parents attaching the wax thingie to the bottom of the lantern
Ezra and I holding the lantern up while my mom lights it
We ran out of matches after our first one, but luckily we saw one of my old high school classmates there and he let us borrow his lighter. He even snapped this picture for us. (Thanks Cayo!)
Ezra and me with our lanterns:
I think the organizers realized that they couldn’t stop the people from releasing their lanterns so they soon announced that it was time for everyone to light theirs together. Watching individual lanterns fly up was amazing, but seeing them all released at the same time was truly magical. (People don’t normally release their lanterns together during the Tazaungdaing Festival in Myanmar so this was actually the first time I saw so many lanterns together.)
Some shots I took during the event:
I took some bokeh shots too:
(I wish I had my 50mm lens with me for more bokehlicious shots, but I left it at home T__T)
Pretty pretty pretty~ It totally reminded me of the lantern scene from Tangled. There weren’t as many lanterns during the event, but it was still breathtaking. I’m so glad I was there to witness this for myself.
The organizers announced that they sold every single lantern they had, making the event a huge success. Good job UPLB student council 😀 I hope you guys decide to do something like this again in the near future.