Making wish by sky lantern
There are a lot of methods of making wish besides going to temples or churches. In Hong Kong, the most special one is that of the Wishing Tree in Tai Po, but in Taiwan, its even more interesting, its an interactive act of sending lanterns to the sky(放天燈). You can do this in daytime or evening time.
In the Taipei county, there’s a small town know as Pingxi(平溪), when you go by long distance taxi, it takesone hour. But if you go by traditional train, you have to change to small train; it may take nearly three hours including the waiting time. So as for a return trip, it might take nearly one whole day of going to and fro, but there is a famous waterfall known as the Shefan Waterfall (十分瀑布)in that area which is the largest cataract in Taiwan, you can also visit there.
Pingxi is a small town; the peculiar is that of railway would pass by the door of the residents. The small rail is even narrow than a lane in the city. That the train will pass just in front of the shops and residents. There’s no pedestrian as that of a main road in a city. When you walk off the shop of selling sky lanterns, that is immediate the railway.
Why sending lanterns to sky? They are said to be invented in the Era of Three Kingdoms by Kong Ming(三國孔明). The original purpose was for military communication. But later on developed into making wishes. People just write down their wish upon the lantern and send them to air in the effect of a heated balloon.
Once it was a symbol of Chinese culture, by now it has a lot of limitations. Normally for areas of 5kms around airport the airport is prohibited for sending for it would avoid air navigation.
As for the lantern itself, it’s divided into several colors, representing different wishes. For example health, good luck, business or love. But if you want everything, it’s so simple and just buy a large multi-color lantern. So what target is these lanterns send to? There no definite god that they are sending to, just send it to heaven. For in Chinese culture is a culture of Polytheism(多神論). There are a lot of gods in heaven under the sea, and down on earth. All kinds of gods exit everywhere; actually, heaven is a kind of god with no definite personification.
No matter what form of wish you are undergoing, actually it depends on the personal will in a great extent. Making wish of course is a psychological state, but it also is a commercial state of making money for those merchants and also of tour benefits to those places, especially such a small town in Taiwan, and the village of wishing tree in Hong Kong also. Thus, it is still worthwhile to have promotion on such forms of making wish.
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This article also appears in my other blog of http://xiaonei.com/danielyue2009 and normally will be renewed on Saturday evening.