You know when you see something in a photo and you think, “I just have to be a part of that!”. Well I’ve been saying this to myself ever since I saw photos of a lantern festival. Yes, those huge white lanterns that you take out into the middle of the desert with thousands of people and everyone sends them up into the sky, creating a real live version of The Starry Night. It just feels like something you should do in your lifetime. So when my future sister-in-law told me that she and my brother were going to one in Mesquite, I jumped on it! Of course I dragged Jordan along with me; Sorry babe. But was it everything I imagined? Was a cold night in the middle of a dirt range lighting up the sky as “Van Gogh” as it looked in the pictures…I will say this…it was magic!
Let me tell you a little more about the event and then I will attempt to describe the experience. The festival was coordinated by The Lights Fest, a group whose mission is to give people a transformative experience that brings everyone together and lets them share their light with the world. They travel around the country spreading this mission and putting on these festivals! What is great too is that they want to not only leave a positive impact on you but on the environment as well. So they have a large clean up crew that comes and picks up all the lanterns and if they happen to miss any, the lanterns are 100% biodegradable. Yay planet Earth! You can go to their website www.thelightsfest.com to get more information and upcoming dates. If you purchase your tickets early you can get them for a good price, tickets start at $25 and go up the closer you get to the event. Of course we waited ’till the last minute // procrastinators // so we paid more but hey, early bird gets the worm, late bird pays extra. Anyways, your ticket gets you a lantern, a canvas bag with a sharpie and a little flashlight keychain.
Since the event goes well into the night we brought some snacks, chairs, and a bunch of blankets. The temp was suppose to drop into the 40’s.. so ya lots of blankets! We set up our little area a bit further back from the stage but there was plenty of space to put down a blanket and break out our Tommy Bahama chairs. Let me tell you those things are amazing, they have straps to carry like a backpack and two big pockets; one of them is a cooler! // Thanks Costco // Once we got settled we walked around to check out the space. The event was in a dusty valley hidden at the end of a golf course, with these great blue mountains as a backdrop. They had a stage set up for live music, some food trucks, and a few booths with merchandise. One of the tents was selling these awesome “air chairs” that looked super comfy and for the amount of people I saw in one, the price must be pretty good. The food trucks had a bunch of different options from pizza to salads to BBQ and even waffles! Waffles on a cold night…yes! Make sure you go check out the food trucks as soon as you get there to avoid the lines, the later it got the longer they got.
While it was still light we pulled out our lanterns and wrote our messages, that’s what the sharpie was for. It was really inspiring to see what people wrote; There were drawings and quotes, dreams and wishes. All things they wanted to send up into the universe! Jordan and I wrote our saying, “always and forever” // this is engraved on the ring he got me for our anniversary // and on the other of course I had a quote, “Be around the magic makers, the world shifters, the game shakers, the light bringers”, found that one on Pinterest. Writing these messages made everything feel so special and connecting, like everyone was there supporting and hoping for all our wishes. You could feel the good energy in the air. It’s crazy how moments like these can connect us.
With all this great company, in no time the sky had darkened, the tiki torches were lit, and they were telling us it was time to light our lanterns. They took us through all the different steps, my tip: make sure you shake it out and unfold any creases // we burnt a hole in our first one because we forgot this..whoops // Then all at once they signal the crowd to release their lanterns!
Now listen to me, DO NOT light your lantern with everyone else! Yes I know you want to but I’m telling you just wait. What is truly magical, the moment you can’t miss is when everyone sends their lanterns off. And if you are too busy fussing around with your lantern trying to light it, you will miss it. Just wait and watch. At that moment, when everyone lets go, look up. Take it all in. You are surrounded by the warm glow of thousands of lanterns. Everywhere you look you see them rising up into the dark sky, piercing the black with light. It is awe-inspiring. Really something you can’t describe. Everyone kept saying, “This is crazy!” because you can’t put into words what you are experiencing. It’s like nothing else. Seeing all those lights coming together, we created a masterpiece that would make the cosmos proud. Even as I write this I can’t fully describe how it felt. The breathlessness, the overwhelming beauty and grandeur of it all, it just can’t be captured in words. Even the photos fall short; When they tell you a picture is worth a thousand words, the experience is lifetime.
– The Next Happening on Blogspot