Thursday, January 3, 2013

Lanterns

Last night we made a trip to the Night Bazaar. We crammed 17 of us into a small songtao (paid 20 baht each). I had my heart set on finding a lantern to send into the air. Like in the Bachelorette in Thailand (Ashley's season) or like the movie Tangled!

After asking at least 6 vendors (some of whom told me we would never find the lanterns), we finally found a woman who sold them! I was so excited I didn't even try to barter. I took the starting price (only 100 baht for 3 lanterns!) which made Angus laugh at me later when I told him the story. I was practically hyperventilating with excitement though, and I think 100 baht was a steal! 


 Thankfully we found an empty space (no trees for the lantern to get caught in), and we attracted a lot of attention from the Thai people around us. A little Thai girl was so excited to see the lanterns that she came running over, bringing her dad to help us. We were so lucky to have their help because we had no idea what we were doing.




First, open the lantern, being careful not to rip it.





Next, attach the part you light on fire (a yellow thick, oily paper...looked like a roll of tape!) with wires.


Rip four sections of the paper.


One person holds the top of the lantern.
Light the 4 ripped sections on fire, and hold it down until the whole thing catches on fire.



Release the lantern!






We watched the lanterns until they became so dim that we could no longer see them. It was as if we added our own temporary stars to the sky.



We lit all 3 lanterns with the help of the little girl and her dad. When we were done, she thanked us and the dad told us we would have good luck now. I feel so fortunate to have found lanterns; they are usually only used during the festival in November. I almost cried I was so happy watching the lanterns float off into the sky.


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