Last June, the roving Water Lantern Festival lit up a location near L.A., and is making its way back this month on November 17 — November 19, 2023 at Whittier Narrows Recreation Area. This spectacular celebration of light has been voted the top Cultural Festival in 2019 & 2020 by USA Today, and it’s easy to see why. Residents gather at scenic locations to write their heartfelt messages and create unique designs on paper lanterns. Each one is lit with LED candles before they set sail, illuminating the dark waters as participants reflect upon their hopes, dreams, struggles, and losses in a shared moment of tranquility. It’s a magical display and a beautiful way to bring communities together through light, music, and delicious food from local vendors.
Each ticket includes a floating lantern kit, an LED candle, a commemorative drawstring bag, and a marker. It also includes the collection of lanterns and clean-up after the experience. The entire Water Lantern Festival has a strong eco-friendly ethos which is why they use recycled wood and rice paper to create the lanterns, have a dedicated team to clear all waste, and Water.org in helping to provide safe water and sanitation to families around the world.
Water Lantern Festival began in 2018 and has expanded to 34 cities worldwide (including New York, Houston, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C.) with a combined attendance of over 130,000 people. As with lantern traditions from China, Vietnam, and Hawaii, it’s all about letting go of the past and moving towards a brighter future while creating an unforgettable moment between family and friends. However, this festival is one of the only lantern festivals on water, where you get to see all the unique designs by participants.
You can find out more about the festival and get tickets here.