Based in Houston, Texas, GEV is a blog by The GreenEyed Venuist. Her posts explore travel and photography through her green eyes.

The Lights Festival! - Houston

The Lights Festival! - Houston

You know how you see events advertised on Facebook or wherever and it looks like the coolest thing you'll ever do so you immediately contact the person you know who will be totally into going and think it's the coolest thing ever too?

Yeah that happened.

I had seen an advertisement on Facebook for an event called The Lights Festival

I don't really like the idea of a bucket list...b/c it implies that you have to get a bunch of things done before you die.  I prefer the idea of living the life you've got and enjoying (but mostly appreciating) God's amazing earth. That's just my opinion.

I will say that I have always wanted to be in the middle of Yi Peng or Loy Krathong in Thailand when thousands of people get together and release khom loi (lit lanterns) into the night sky. I imagined that it was be something truly magical. It's funny b/c this year, I will be narrowly missing Yi Peng in Chiang Mai which will be held Nov. 13-15th. 

But when I considered the planning aspect of it, it always seemed a little daunting and not easily accomplished. 

So when I see this advertisement I immediately thought of Fallon and we literally bought tickets within mins......no questions asked. 

Well, the date of the festival arrived. I had majorly overbooked myself with activities for the day but I was so excited that nothing was gonna stop me from driving the 40 mins to Baytown to attend this festival. Fallon had shackled herself with activities for the weekend so my brother stepped in and rode out with me. 

We got there and the line to enter the grounds was literally a mile long. It was overwhelming but they moved you thru quickly. 

At check-in, you get your lantern and a magic marker. Most people used that to write things all over the lantern. I wasn't really interested in that part. I was there for the main event. 

We stood in line for some mediocre fast food and then picked a spot in the middle of the grounds to set up shop. There was a lady singing on a small stage and people around us with bubbles and beers. As the sunset, people lit sparklers and danced. It nice to just sit back and watch people enjoy themselves.

 These are the cutest children....playing with fire lol

These are the cutest children....playing with fire lol

So...it was windy out. And the fire marshall wouldn't allow us to release the laterns around 7:00 as was promised. I was a little annoyed by this but I'm guessing the fire marshall didn't want to start a small brush fire or ignite any of the neighboring barns so I let him live (only you can prevent forest fires). That gave us time to make friends with the people around us...and then my brother wanted in on the sparkler fun. So he ran off and bought two packs of sparklers and we torched them and waved them around...and giggled...like children. Then he started passing them around to everyone...meanwhile I was like, STOP! Those are ours! (Clearly you can see who's the more generous of the two of us.)

So when the time came, there was a demonstration of how to light the lantern. The lantern is made of what feels like tissue paper. So imagine a trash bag made of that kind of paper you stuff into a gift bag tied to a wire circle with a rectangle patch of cardboard suspended in the middle.  

You're supposed to use the torches that were lit all around us to ignite the little rectangle. This is a two-man task. You have to hold the top of the lantern, the peak of the tissue trash bag, up straight so the sides don't fly into the flame. Then you wait, 3-4 mins, for the flame to create air inside the tissue trash bag...enough for it to take flight and float away. 

Easy right?

Wrong. 

It was windy. So holding the side of the lantern away from the fire was a task. It takes longer than 3-4 mins too. Some of the lanterns were catching on fire....nearly three of them around us had to be stomped out...including my brother's. I actually tried to stomp mine out b/c it got hot and I could see a disaster happening. But I picked it back up and held onto it for a while. The other issue is that either people were letting it go before it was filled with enough air to where it would float away.....More disaster b/c then you had an open fire flying into people's heads and crashing into small children. The actual lighting and releasing of these lanterns was dangerous as hell. Maybe we weren't doing it right....Idk. The lady next to me said she didn't mind her eyebrows catching on fire b/c she could draw those back on...she was more concerned with her hair...O_o

But then a miracle happened. I accidentally released my lantern and instead of it slamming into the people in front of me and setting their clothes on fire....it FLOATED! and then it ascended into the air! I swear I've never felt so accomplished! And then I finally got the chance to look up. 

Y'all. The lanterns floating thru the sky was incredible. It was literally one of the most beautiful things ever. And as more people figured out how to light and release their lanterns.....it was literally like magic. It seemed like the floated on for miles. Then...with the moon in the background.....honestly. It was spectacular. 

I'm so glad I went. I took all the pictures too. All of them. 

If the Lights Festival or anything similar to it comes to your city.....go. It's worth it. you will not be disappointed. Also...Houston can be so fun! There's so many cool things to do here. 

Check the video I made with Stupeflix.

And one final video of the fireworks at the end!

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