Lantern Fest Experience Review
By: Samantha Arakachi,12
A Lantern Festival originates from a Chinese festival celebrated on the fifteenth day of the first month in the lunisolar Chinese Calendar. It marks the final day of the traditional Chinese New Year celebrations, it falls on some day in February or March. The lanterns can symbolize the people letting go of their past selves or sending a personal message to loved ones that have passed away.
This past Saturday, I was able to experience this culture’s tradition. It was definitely one of those things that I had at the top of my list of things to do before I die. The festival took place at the Texas Motarplex in Ennis,TX. The tickets were priced at about $35 each and included a lantern and a kit. This kit included a lighter, a marker, and s'mores. Sadly, the day of the event, there was a 50% chance of rain, the temperature outside about 50 degrees and it was very windy. However, the event wasn't canceled and it still was going to be held.
When we got to the venue around 4:30pm, the place was already so crowded. We got our wristbands, lanterns, and kits. We looked around the venue for a spot to sit at with a bonfire to warm up our s'mores. We were late to the event so we sat down with a welcoming random family that invited us to sit with them. The event sold food, merchandise, and souvenirs for the people. There was a stage where people sang and played songs and they even hosted some dance battles while we all waited for the night sky.
Once night finally came, we were told to light up our lanterns. Soft music played and everyone began to prepare their message on their lanterns to set them free. The rain and the cold made it extremely difficult to successfully light up our lanterns. Once they were lit up, the wind would make it dangerous to let go because it could possibly burn someone cause of the direction of the wind. We weren't able to light ours up began it took too long and it finally burned out. Even thought it wasn't a success, seeing those lanterns that were lit up fly away into the sky was magical. Everyone seemed so happy. You see kids running around, couples sharing hugs and kisses, and families just enjoying every moment instead of being on their phones.