Chinese New Year Sky Lantern Release at Spanish Banks

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Sky Lantern floating lantern / Shutterstock

UPDATE (Feb. 5): The lanterns have been sold-out during a pre-sale, but anyone can go down to Spanish Banks and watch the release. Vancity Buzz is in no way associated with the event, just letting you know about the cool thing happening in our city. The original Facebook event has been taken down for fear the event has grown too large, however, we do know that people have planned to meet at Spanish Banks to continue with the event.

An authentic Chinese New Year Sky Lantern Festival is being held in Vancouver on the night of Friday, February 7.

In parts of Asia, the festival is typically celebrated on the 15th (last) day of the Chinese New Year period to mark the end of the holiday.

According to one of the most common legends, the origins of the Sky Lantern Festival dates back more than 2,000 thousand years ago when Chinese villagers were forced away from their homes by raiders. Village watchmen would use small “hot air balloons” as a signal to inform those who had taken refuge that their homes are safe to return.

These days, the mass release of the lanterns is a symbol of peace and good fortune. People are also encouraged to write messages on the lanterns and hope that their wishes come true. The largest of such celebrations is in the town of Pinxi, Taiwan (one hour away from Taipei) where millions flock to each year to release and watch the ascension of as many as 100,000 lanterns.

Chinese New Year Sky Lantern Release at Spanish Banks West

Date: Friday, February 7, 2014
Time:  7 p.m. (lanterns will be released at 7:20 p.m.)
Location:
 Spanish Banks West, Vancouver (far west end of Spanish Banks)
Cost: FREE to watch (for participation: $5 for biodegradable lantern purchased on-site, while supplies last).

  • UPDATE (Feb. 5): The lanterns have been sold-out during a pre-sale, but anyone can go down to Spanish Banks and watch the release. Vancity Buzz is in no way associated with the event, just letting you know about the cool thing happening in our city.
  • UPDATE (FEB. 6):  The original Facebook event has been taken down for fear the event has grown too large, however, we do know that people have planned to meet at Spanish Banks to continue with the event.

Several hundred lanterns will be launched into the night sky on Friday, February 7 at the far west end of Spanish Banks in Vancouver. The event begins at 7 p.m.

Everyone is welcome to come down to the beach and watch the spectacle in the sky. For those who are looking to also participate in the event, 100 per cent biodegradable lanterns can be purchased on-site from the organizers for just $5 – but only while supplies last. According to original organizers, proceeds will go towards benefiting those in need in Ukraine.

The paper lanterns will be safe and easy to use and are made out of flame resistant rice paper. They are also calm and quiet and will allow you to sit back and enjoy the show. However, participants are entirely responsible for the set-up and safe release of the lanterns they launch.

The glow of the lanterns will be seen for up to 20 minutes and will travel several kilometres in the distance at altitudes of more than 300-metres before the flame is automatically extinguished. This will cause the lantern to gently float back down for a safe landing.

Featured Image: Sky lantern launch via Shutterstock

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