night of a thousand lanterns in p’ing-xi

beloved mum and dad, i would like to ask; did you receive my sky lantern already?

(c) ukirsari 2011

sky lantern or tian deng in local language also known as konming lantern, taken from the shape of zhuge liang’s hat, a minister in old chinese world and the lantern was used to be a signal within war periods and the usage of its lantern brought to ilha formosa or taiwan whenever the natives of fujian province migrated in the era of qing dynasty.

(c) ukirsari 2011

refer to chang douan-xie, a guy who attended p’ing-xi lantern festival altogether with his family; two children and his wife, he told me that long long time ago, in the celebration of chinese lunar new year or known in local language as chun jie, marauders are coming to screw up people in p’ing-xi. that’s why the locals hidden themselves up to the mountainous range of shifen to sandiaoling plateau. the village’s keepers will send sky lanterns whenever marauders has gone and the people can be home again.  “in the end, locals take the uniqueness of sending sky lantern as part of their tradition and it will be held at the first moonlight after chinese lunar new year or yuanxiao jie,” stated douan.

last year, in november 2010, with kindly help of my friend’s family in chiangmai, northern thailand, i do just like locals to lit up the lanterns and float a small papier-mache boat in the river for my beloved parents. and that moment created idea in my mind that someday i should visit p’ing-xi zhexian to do the quite same thing in the traditional way.

all i need just ask the volunteer about tian deng that i would like to buy. pink is for love and friendship, red is a celebration, white is speaking about peace and health then orange is for prosperity. how about blue? i take this one, since it’s my favourite colour and a symbol in between me and dad; we’re as travelers and his dedication to the navy and how we love the seas and oceans. then one of my mum’s favourite colour as well.

(c) alex pangestu 2011

i was so amazed with those volunteers, even when english taken place as a language barrier, they’re keep smiling and handed a brush and ink for me.  and here i am, whenever people are busy to write in hanyu (chinese characters), tieng viet (vietnamese), nihongo (japanase) or hangeoul (south korea), i am confident to write in hanacaraka, an old-ancient javanese characters that my parents teach me since i was a kid. and gladly, i wrote it very well. a small poem, a pray, my dedication … full of love.

my heart just so blue, i feel so warm in the middle of a mid-plateau in the winter time, surrounded by many many people around the world and my tian deng fly that high, can be seen ascending amongst thousand lanterns in the evening sky. locals belief, tian deng is a personal message for  heaven.

so, what can i say more, mum and dad …. i do miss you and i love you so. hoping you are happy to see my lantern and understand that i will always remember you, in my own way.

6 thoughts on “night of a thousand lanterns in p’ing-xi

  1. @rie! i love this post. it made me experience how it was to watch the lantern ascending… sending up your prayers and poem for your dad and mom.
    i am glad you were able to do this!

    1. dearly nina, thanks so much and happy that i can share this experience with you. it’s bloody cold in the winter but my heart (and i’m sure mostly attendees will feel the same) feel so warm. kinda melting an ice instead of bursting in tears. hoping will be back someday.

    1. hi auria, kabar baik. semoga kau juga yaa. thanks banget, love if my blog can give some inspiration😉 nantgi aku blog walking ke milikmu yaaaa. salam🙂

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