In October 2014, the RiSE Lantern Festival was celebrated in the United States. And we’re not talking about paper lanterns on the ground lining a walk way. We’re talking about R2D2 size, giant capsules of light that float up up up and away. Traditionally, this religious festival happens once a year in Chiang Mai, Thailand. But with the help of the Bureau Land Management to acquire permits and working with engineers to design lanterns with ultra-specific burn rates, the RiSE Lantern Festival was able to be celebrated just outside of Vegas in the Mojave Desert. It just so happened that whilst dreaming up this podcast, in 2014, I happened to stumble upon an ad for RiSE on Facebook. The picture itself was intoxicating and I had a very real Liz Lemon thought. “I want to go to there.” And I did go to there. In this episode, you will hear stories from people about what brought them to the festival and why letting paper lanterns go into the sky means more than letting paper lanterns go into the sky.
Thank you to Weslie Christensen, Bronson Christensen, Dan Hill, and Jef Holm for creating and sharing RiSE.
Music by Joshua James
Cover art by Evah Fan