Friday, December 3, 2010

Jack-o-lantern Wishes

And the Great Pumpkin rose from the pumpkin patch and flew through the air!

Those who believe can send a jack-o-lantern soaring with these sky lanterns. Made from flame-retardant materials, they'll glow eerily as they float silently, slowly upwards, lasting 12 to 20 minutes in the air before they extinguish themselves. All you do is light the attached fuel cell and hold the lantern until the heat fully inflates it, and then you can release it and it will drift upwards.  Available in packs of 5,10 or 25, they are currently on sale. My order for a 10-pack today totaled $33.35 including the shipping charges.

  These are considered type 1.4g consumer fireworks in the United States, so check the fireworks regulations in your area. Adults would be wise to avoid releasing these in windy conditions, near trees, power lines, or airports. Children should not be near the lanterns unless fully supervised by responsible adults. I will be taking my lanterns out to the desert for a pyrotechnic event that occurs near Valentine's Day. How romantic it will be to engage in the Asian custom of making a wish or saying a prayer before releasing a lantern and gazing at it as it rides a gentle current. The lanterns are made of biodegradable paper with no wires, just thin bamboo sticks, so they are more earth-friendly than you might guess.

Sky lanterns really make an impact when released in quantity.

Here's a 48-second video showing the effect of wish lanterns set adrift en masse at a celebration of the full moon in the capital of Thailand. It's spectacular.

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