Have you ever wanted to go to a floating lantern festival? These beautiful events are held across Asia and in many other places worldwide. The vision of hundreds of lanterns released into the sky or floated across water is one you won’t forget.

Floating lanterns of the airborne variety date back to ancient China, where they were used in various warfare operations. Like kites, but with a nocturnal purpose, they were useful for transmitting strategic messages or as a means of signalling or spying. Today, floating lanterns are used less for belligerence and more for enchantment.

Water versus Air

For reasons of safety, lanterns are often floated on water these days rather than in the air, but the spectacle is no less captivating for it.

Indeed, the sight of many lanterns and their glimmering light on the water’s surface will make you feel at peace with yourself and the world.

Floating lantern events set a romantic mood if you happen to be with a partner or spouse and create a happy mood among family and friends.

Lanterns make a great prelude to a wedding proposal, or maybe you’ll book tickets as an anniversary treat!

Where to See a Lantern Festival

Lantern festivals can be seen in countries such as China, Thailand and Vietnam, where they are important cultural events. If your heart is set on seeing lanterns in the sky, you’ll probably need to travel to Asia to experience it.

The fantastic Shinnyo Lantern Floating Ceremony takes place on the water in Hawaii each year. Also in the USA, where sky lanterns are largely banned, you may enjoy the stunning Water Lantern Festival in Washington DC.

Most European lantern festivals are land-based, but you can visit a breathtaking floating lantern festival each year in Lisbon, Portugal at the Espaço Espelho d’Água (a man-made lake). Land-based events with some water exhibits include the Spirit of the Orient event on the Isle of Wight in England and the Festival des Lanternes in Gaillac, France.


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