Friday, February 14, 2014

indescribable


Some moments are truly indescribable. 

And some moments cannot be captured on film.

The Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival is one of those moments.

It took four hours and a scooter, high speed rail train, two metro lines, two cab drives and an hour long bus ride to get to the small mountain village of Pingxi, Taiwan. 

Along the way we met up with other adventurers who had flown in just the day before from the United States, Australia and Sweden just to witness this moment. 

The anticipation on the bus was palpable and I have not been that.excited in such a long time. 


The second we stepped off the bus the rain pounded us from every direction but it did.not.matter because the second we stepped off the bus we stepped into another fantastical world where every few seconds beautiful red lanterns would ascend into the sky with wishes + messages scrawled all over them. 

We donned our ponchos and disappeared into the horde of people who crammed into the tiny village to be apart of something inexplicably beautiful and moving.

 
We chose our lantern and watched others assemble/light theirs so we knew what to do when the time came. On our lantern, we wrote all of our hopes + wishes for the new year: Sean graduating and finding a job, having the trip of our dreams in New Zealand and health + happiness + healing for our families.

We dedicated the lantern to my dad and stood in the deluge in anxious anticipation waiting for the moment.

Then, the lights dimmed and it was time. 

We gently pulled the lantern up and released it and watched it go up, up, up until there were too.many.lanterns and wishes in the sky to know which one was ours.



I have to believe it impossible for anyone not to feel moved beyond words by watching thousands of lanterns float over their head, just out of reaching distance at first and then hundreds of feet in the air, and realizing that together the wishes + dreams of thousands of people are making their way off into the night sky.

It was profoundly beautiful to witness.






30 comments

  1. This is just beautiful. What a magical moment! I'm so glad the weather didn't ruin the event for you :)

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    1. Me too! We were soaked through but it was so.worth.it!!

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  2. This looks like such a beautiful festival!

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    1. It truly was a once in a lifetime thing! So cool.

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  3. Reading this post gave me goosebumps. What a special thing to be a part of!

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    1. I had goosebumps the entire time... and not because of the rain. It was just that kind of experience.

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  4. I"m so glad the festival wasn't canceled! How amazing

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    1. Me too! I think I will have to go every year now! I really want to experience Chiang Mai's festival too.

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  5. What an incredible experience to be part of. Beautiful pictures.

    Louisa @ My Family & Abruzzo

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    1. Thanks! I was bummed at first because it was so.hard to get a good shot because of the rain but then my husband made me put my camera away so I could actually experience the wonder and I am so.glad he did!

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  6. What an amazing thing to witness, it looks gorgeous! :)

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    1. Thanks! It was one of those moments I shall never forget :)

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  7. This looks so lovely. Must have been euphoric being there just watching them drift off into the distance. Well done for making it there against the weather-related odds! x

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    1. Euphoric is the perfect word to describe the experience!

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  8. Beautiful! It seems like one of those things you have to experience yourself.

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    1. Yes, and then you will want to experience more and more. I want to go to the one in Chiang Mai too.

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  9. Beautiful! You guys witnessed a really special moment, and the bad weather just made it more special! Would love to see all those lanterns drift into the sky!

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    1. I agree that the weather made it that much more cool! Although we were soaked through by the time we made it back to Taipei and it took two days for our clothes to dry :)

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  10. This looks absolutely magical! Thanks for sharing this special moment.

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  11. Looks stunning and so magical! What a sight that must have been! I've always wanted to attend a paper lantern festival so I'm super jealous! Sorry the weather wasn't ideal but I'm sure it made it more memorable :)

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    1. You know, at first I was bummed about the weather but everyone there was in such good spirits and playful about it so it actually made the experience even more fun!

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  12. Being at a massive paper lantern release is on my bucket list. I knew they did it in November in Chiang Mai, but I didn't realize that Taiwan had a similar festival. What you show is so beautiful and magical. We tried to do this in Texas once, but the fire department nixed the idea.

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    1. It is definitely bucket list worthy! And I can imagine that the Texas fire department would say no. The location and time of year is very carefully chosen so that the trees are moist and the chance of fire is quite low.

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  13. Oh how gorgeous! Even with all the rain and the long journey, it sounds like it was worth it. I would love to be able to do this one day.

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  14. I really want to experience a lantern festival and hope to this fall in Asia! Thanks for linking up to the #SundayTraveler :)

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    1. Yes! You should go out of your way to do it at least once. Chiang Mai in Thailand has an even larger and more impressive one!

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  15. What an incredible moment!!! I would absolutely love to attend this event. It sounds so magical!!

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    1. It was a really special thing to be a part of! I hope you can see it one day too :)

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