Have you ever seen those beautiful lanterns floating in the dark night sky? If you have been to the waterfront along the Panorama Museum on the 10th of May, then you are able to witness the breathtaking scenery with your loved ones.
Those sky lanterns are also known as Kong Ming lanterns or Chinese lanterns "tian deng". This invention is attributed to the sage and military strategist, Zhu Ge Liang or also known as Kong Ming. He is said to have used a message written on a sky lantern to summon help on an occasion when he was surrounded by enemy troops. The sky lantern is a small hot air balloon made of paper, with an opening at the bottom where a small fire is suspended.
Sky lanterns are traditionally made from oiled rice paper on a bamboo frame. The source of hot air may be a small candle or fuel cell composed of a waxy flammable material. The general design is a thin paper shell, which may be from about 30 cm to a couple of meters across, with an opening at the bottom. The opening is usually about 10 to 30cm wide and is surrounded by a stiff collar that serves to suspend the flame source and to keep it away from the walls. When lit, the flame heats the air inside the lantern, thus lowering its density and causing the lantern to rise into the air. The sky lantern is only airborne for as long as the flame stays alight, after which the lantern sinks back to the ground.
Many families, dating couples and friends attended this event. Each of them wrote wishes on the lanterns before releasing them into the air with both hands clasped together, hoping for their wishes to come true. My friends and I, as well didn't miss the chance to write wishes for our friends and families back in Malaysia. We took many photos together as a memory of this festive event. As a vast of lighted sky lanterns released into the air, many people were staring into the dark sky with such astonishing expression. Russian kids who were chasing each other stopped running just to take a look at such breathtaking scenery. I felt really happy to see that the Russians could enjoy our Chinese lantern festival.