Hello readers, this past weekend I decided to leave my house and to go the Water Lantern Festival held in Mount Trashmore Park down in Virginia Beach. I originally saw the advertisement for it on Instagram and I was hooked from the very beginning.
This festival is just magical. There are many values the festival shares and wants you to experience, such as happiness and unity, and it also encourages to you to get in touch with your inner self, as well as those that surround you. They play indy-relaxing music, they encourage you to walk around and meet people, especially through a scavenger hunt, and they also encourage you to write on your lantern your wishes and hopes for the future, as well as wishes and thoughts for those who passed.
I usually am not the kind of person that believes in this type of stuff, I am a very rational human being that believes in science and the facts but, while I was there, I felt like all my problems did not exist. I felt like I was another person. I felt a sense of calm and happiness taking me over. And the scenery, especially when the lanterns were released in the water, was breathtaking.
If you ever had the chance to go, I totally recommend it. We bought the date night special, and besides the lanterns we also got a mandala throw blanket to sit on and just relax. Gates opened at 5 PM, and we went there because we wanted to beat the crowd, and we sort of did. I am unsure whether the event was sold out or not, but the park was full of people that came there for the same reason as we did: we wanted to spend a peaceful evening with our loved ones, we all wanted to forget what stresses us, we all wanted to relax and reconnect.
There was some live music, and there were many vendors offering different types of food options (a little overpriced tho). There were stands that offered many different types of merchandise, like a t-shirt or an air bed.
The location was perfect. They chose to do it in a small lake, which made it easier to clean up afterwards. They also picked the right side of the lake because, by sunset, the sun was reflecting itself in the water, which added a more theatrical effect to the event.
Between 8:30 and 9:30 PM, we were invited to put ourselves in line to the different slides, where we could slid the lantern in the water and send it away, hoping our wishes come true. That was the only down of the event: I thought we were going to be given the opportunity to approach the shore and lean in and put the lantern in the water or even, for the most courageous, to step in the water yourself and kneel down and send it. I feel that the slide actually put an obstacle in between the magic of releasing your lantern, of releasing your issues and seeing your wishes go, hoping they will come true.
To conclude, I must say it was a very executed event, and I hope to go back next year! I am absolutely in love with the memories from that night, and I absolutely loved the ambience of that night! I do not know if the park was left in the dark on purpose, or if there are no lights in the park, but I believe it was a very good decision, something that made the event a winner. The only lights were coming from the sunset, from the little light the vendors and the stage had, and from the lanterns. When the sun set, we were in complete darkness. And we wanted to be. We all used our lanterns to guide us, and then we were all captivated by the lanterns floating away that we barely realized the darkness around us.