Lantern Festival Gastonia

Saturday May 2, 2015, Gastonia NC hosted their very first lantern festival at Charlotte Speedway. It has been by far one of the most surreal events that I have ever been to in North Carolina. We started with receiving our lantern kits and a s’mores making kit. Since my wife had never made a s’more before, tis was a great opportunity for us to make our first family s’more over a bonfire. My daughter spent half of the time playing with her glow stick bracelet that was handed out. The Lantern Festival was packed with people who just came out to enjoy great music, fellowship, and the historical meaning of the Lantern.

Historically, Sky Lanterns dating back to 3rd century BC have been a symbol of good hope, new beginnings and remembering the ones we love. With that, the lanterns are decorated in so many different ways. Some with wishes enclosed, others with the many names of loved ones who have passed away. No matter what the reason, hundreds of people came out to the Lantern Festival in Gastonia for a similar purpose.

As with many events, there can be dangers and most people would think that setting something on fire and releasing it to where ever the winds blows could cause problems. Well at this event, it did as about 5 lanterns caused a nearby cellphone tower to catch fire. That didn’t stop the event as not only did lanterns keep going up, but people kept enjoying the other music and festivities. Despite this, I hope that they have this event next year as the fire marshal was originally skeptical of the safety issues before the event.

Take some time to enjoy the pictures from the event!