I had never heard of sky lanterns until last weekend, when we met our friends Todd and Suzanne for our families’ traditional late summer rendezvous.

They had seen these breath-taking inventions at their children’s school in England, and ordered some to send skyward at their cabin in upstate New York.

People had to pair up to launch each one, as you need four hands to keep each tissue paper puff aloft and sufficiently billowy so the flame doesn’t touch the sides.  Tiny slips of paper were handed out and we teamed up with whoever shared our number for the take-off.

Seeing 12 of these floating and bobbing and climbing at once over the St. Lawrence River was a gorgeous sight.  You could watch them in the sky or reflected in the water below. 

We highly recommend this activity, next time you have a group together or want to commemorate a special event.  And since they are bio-degradable, this is a much better choice than sending a mylar or latex balloon into the atmosphere. 

But enough about the science.  I’d rather believe these are straight out of a fairy tale, or a John Singer Sargent painting.


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