One of the most beautiful things that you can do in Thailand is go to the Floating Lantern Festival. It takes place in November of every year where thousands of people gather together to write their wishes on a lantern and send their desires up to the sky to hopefully be made true by the Universe. Unfortunately, I missed the festival by one week and was devastated. I really wanted to light a floating lantern in Thailand and send my wishes up to the sky!
Luckily, when I was in Koh Tao (a small island famous for diving), my new backpacking friends (some of whom have become my life-long friends) helped me make my wish come true. It was our last night together on this magical island, so all ten of us decided to go out for dinner on the beach together.As we sat around a large table reminiscing on our favorite times together, I spotted one single floating lantern soaring above the ocean. I squealed, “Look! It’s a floating lantern!! We have to light one!!” All of the girls immediately jumped for joy at the idea. One of my friends spotted a man walking along the beach selling some. We leaped out of our chairs and asked him how much it cost. After some haggling (never accept the first price! You can always get cheaper! Check out more Thailand tips here), we scored ten lanterns: one for each of us. He had to go back and make more, but promised to be back in one hour to help us light them. That gave us plenty of time to finish our meals.
One hour later, he returned as promised. I hunted a waitress down and begged her to find me a marker so we could write our desires and wishes on the lanterns. Charmed by my childish excitement, she snagged one from the bartender and I scribbled furiously onto the rice paper. Twenty minutes later, we were all ready. We stood on the beach as the man helped us light them.
The heat from the flames were surprisingly strong and the hot air immediately started lifting our lanterns high. I had to hold on tight to make sure we all released them at the same time. This is my friend Jessica from Canada 🙂
Finally, we were all ready.
Three… two… one… RELEASE. My lantern floated up into the dark night sky.
It was breath-taking. An overwhelming sense of peace and wonderment enveloped us all as we watched our group of lanterns float off into the distance.
All the girls got into a group hug and begged me to sing “I See The Light” from Disney’s “Tangled.” Naturally, I obliged.
It was one of the most beautiful and bonding moments of my trip.
If you have the chance to light a floating lantern in Thailand, do it! I must confess that some of my wishes I wrote on my lantern are already coming true!
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