Wish Lanterns

Barbara KeimWish lanterns originated in China and were used in festivals. They were believed to bring good luck and carry away challenges and sorrows. Their popularity has caught on in many cultures today. No matter what you use them for or what you wish for, they provide a spectacular visual when released into the night sky! They come in many shapes and colors and traditionally are made from wrapping rice paper around a bamboo frame. Inside at the bottom is an attached fuel cell. Once you light the fuel cell the lantern fills with heat. Before lighting, remember to put your wishes, thoughts and prayers that you have previously written down inside. Doing this ensures that they will be carried into the sky. Everything about the lantern is biodegradable, so there are no worries about where it lands when the fuel cell runs out.

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This past August marked the one year anniversary of my dad passing. My mom, sister and I bought a wish lantern. We took it out into an open field that night, unfolded it and we each put a personal note to him inside the lantern. Then we carefully lit the cell and we each held a corner of the lantern as it filled with light and heat from the flame. We watched as the lantern floated away, feeling our sorrows go up and away as we released the lantern up into the sky with just a simple phrase.. we love and miss you, always and forever.

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