The Cosmic Love Sky Lantern Festival is sure to be a feast for the eyes this fall in Wadi Rum. As if the dramatic mountain scenery weren’t breathtaking enough, sky lanterns will rise like one thousand moons over the vast expanses of the desert at 9:00pm on the projected date of September 27. Crafted of paper, a sky lantern, also called a sky candle or fire balloon, is typically made by attaching oiled rice paper to a bamboo frame, and the light inside is either a candle or a fuel cell. After the air inside the lantern is heated, the density is lowered enough to cause the vessel to rise and fly for as long as anywhere from five minutes to half an hour.
Sky lanterns are traditionally used in East Asian cultures; as per the belief, good luck comes to those who launch sky lanterns, which when flying, symbolize hardships floating away. Throwing cares to the wind is so much more glamorous when sky lanterns act as emblems, in my opinion.
The autumn event will be held near the Bait Ali settlement in Wadi Rum; attendees are encouraged to take advantage of the chic accommodation of the campsite, perhaps extending their Wadi Rum adventure a few days past the conclusion of the festival.
A Facebook event page will keep those who are interested informed; the allure of exclusivity entices Facebookers to “join” the event.
Ticket prices are still to-be-announced, but some things are already for sure. Sky lanterns will be provided for visitors, and so will food (at extra cost), as will the music of “floating vibes…slow dubby beats…psychedelic melody.”
The event planners see the festival as an opportunity to unite all attendees, using the surreality of the flying sky lanterns to create a peaceful sensitivity. Just as sky lanterns symbolize worries floating up, up, and away!, they can also symbolize prejudices being cast aside. On that Facebook page, “The Aim” is the following:
To forget the emphasis on differences. To help people become more tolerant and loving. To show our appreciation of fire (the greatest human discovery to date – fact). To share our admiration with the cosmos. To advance humanity. To make hundreds, if not thousands of great wishes.
Wadi Rum is a safe space for sky lantern launching, but if not thought out carefully and conscientiously, the activity could be very harmful to the environment.
If sky lanterns land on combustible vegetation, brush fires can blaze. Electric trouble can be stirred if they fly into power lines. They are a hazard to aircrafts, so the Cosmic Love Festival will only permit the lighting of lanterns after the last aircraft flying between Amman and Aqaba lands.
Mark your calendars for the Cosmic Love Sky Lantern Festival, if you’ll be in or near Jordan this fall! The festival is avidly seeking promoters and sponsors…and also fireworks! Getting involved is as simple as sending a message to [email protected].
Until the fun starts in late September, you can be transported there by watching this YouTube video. The song, one of my favorites – “Cosmic Love” by Florence and the Machine – really befits the theme.