Monday, August 11, 2014

Launching our Sky Lantern

One of the coolest things Nick and I did on our honeymoon was on our last night in Koh Samui. We had seen (and heard about) sky lanterns, or lucky balloons, throughout our trip in Thailand. I did some research on sky lanterns, and they are actually pretty cool!

Sky lanterns were originally used (it is believed) for military communications. The sky lanterns are made of paper and bamboo, and are launched into the sky by letting the fire catch and heat up the inside of the lantern until you can release it. Now, sky lanterns are used in festivals and by tourists. Many thai people believe that it is good luck to release a sky lantern, and that it symbolizes your problems and worries floating away. Our lantern was a Khom Loi, a floating sky lantern. There are four types, and the most popular is the Khom Loi.

One of the most popular sky lantern festivals is in Chang Mai every year (just google it) and the images are gorgeous! I would love to make it there one day.

As Nick and I had several weeks to spend in Koh Samui, of course we had tons of time to watch sky lanterns be lit off. We purchased one during our last week, and decided that it was a perfect way to say good-bye to Koh Samui, ending our honeymoon there- and a great way to bring luck to ourselves as we were in the process of signing a new contract for this upcoming season. (yep, you read that right- our honeymoon was spent in constant, daily communication with Nick's agent to work things out!)

sky lantern koh samui thailand
getting ready to launch our lucky balloon!
The process of launching sky lanterns, or lucky balloons, is actually pretty simple. First, you purchased one (we bought an XL-sized one for about $3…could have been cheaper, but I didn't care to barter that day!) We went out to dinner on the beach, and as the sky grew dark it was finally almost time to launch our sky lantern. We asked for assistance from the restaurant we were at, and after that we were off! First, we unwrapped the sky lantern and lit the fire on a bamboo-type cord underneath the paper lantern. Eventually, the fire began to heat up and really puff the balloon-after waiting a minute or two, it was time to let go!

launching our first sky lantern in Koh Samui
And our lantern is off!
After we let go, we got to watch our lantern carry off into the night sky. It was a great feeling to watch our lantern go, and after learning the history we really had some reflective moments- on our honeymoon, our life together, and the future!

Sky lantern Koh Samui Thailand
Our sky lantern in the night sky
For us, launching our sky lantern was the perfect way to say good-bye to our Koh Samui honeymoon and begin our journey to Bangkok and then back home. Have you ever been to Thailand, or somewhere you had the opportunity to launch a sky lantern? What is one of your favorite memories from your honeymoon (or most recent vacation)? 

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