The cosmic trinity of heaven, earth, man, is one of the key foundations in Chinese metaphysics and philosophy.
For centuries, people have been practicing rituals to achieve some kind of communication link from man to heaven.
One of those methods that is still being practiced today is the act of sending lanterns carrying the message of the wisher into the sky.
This activity is as simple as writing your wishes onto the lantern, releasing it and allow the wind to carry into the heavens. Some folklore also states that the messages are sent to the sky dragon instead of to the mailbox of heaven.
While sending your messages on any day is already appropriate, one can also refine the effectiveness by being more meticulous.
First select an auspicious day relevant to your wishes. For example, if you are seeking good health, it would be more ideal to release your message on a day of earth energy according to the Hsia Calendar. Or choose the element of the day depending on what element represents certain aspects of life as described in your personal bazi.
Even though it’s not absolutely necessarily, some people would select an auspicious hour according to the above concept of elements as well.
Then either purchase a lantern or build your own.
The choice of lantern color is also believed to carry different connotations. The most commonly used colors and their symbolism are as below:
- White for career prospects
- Yellow and orange for wealth
- Red for health
- Purple for wisdom
- Blue and green for progression
- Pink for love
At this point, it’s worth noting that the traditional Chinese lanterns used for this ritual is one made of paper structured with a think wooden frame. In the interiors is a candle holder or fuel dish. Fire is lighted within the lantern, and the hot air carries the lantern into the sky.
Write your wishes on the lantern using ink and brush. Be as specific as possible in your wishes.
A successful launch is deemed when the lantern flies into the sky and disappears from view.
Should it catch fire and disintegrate right before your eyes, it is said that you have sent an unsuccessful message. Like an SMS message you’ve sent but did not reach the intended receiver.
In modern times, the traditional lanterns are sometimes replaced by helium balloons. They are less of a fire hazard and are safer for kids to take part too.
These are sometimes called wish balloons.
Releasing balloons containing helium from home would definitely be less conspicuous from the prying eyes of neighbors.