If you don’t believe in magic you will when you attend the RiSE Festival. This year RiSE Lantern Festival celebrated their fourth year in the Mojave Desert. This year the event was particularly special because it was honoring those who were affected by the tragedy in Las Vegas. RiSE brings together participants who want to share their hopes, dreams and wishes with loved ones and strangers. Attendees come together and release lanterns, you can choose to write a message, a wish or dreams on it. I saw people draw on them, write wishes, write messages to loved ones who have passes away, and some left the lanterns as is. I met a girl who came because she recently lost her father and boyfriend in the last couple of months and she wanted to celebrate them there.
Many came to honor those who were shot in the senseless tragedy in Las Vegas. Thousands of people attend RiSE and people come from around the world for this two night event. There were many condolence messages written on the lanterns for fallen victims. So many prayers, and wishes. The social media campaign this year gave others who could not attend the chance to participate with the hashtag #StilliRiSE.
This is the most moving event I have ever attended. I knew that when the lanterns would be released it was going to be beautiful but I had no idea that I would be able to feel that beauty. I have never cried because I felt beauty until that night. Watching people release the lanterns, sharing love, laughter, tears and hugs is beyond words. You feel the love, you share that moment with friends, loved ones and strangers. It is something everyone needs to experience. You will leave feeling inspired, and deeply touched. The feeling you have there will never leave you.
The day starts in the late afternoon, there are bands, food trucks and bars set up. Your ticket includes two lanterns, a mat to sit on, a marker to write a message if you choose to do so and the section where you will release your lantern. Make sure when you attend you bring layers it is very hot in the day and cool at night. I would also recommend bringing sunscreen and water. The setting is on sacred land, the Moapa Valley. It feels very magical when you arrive. There are several bands there to listen to music. This event is open to all ages, so you can bring your children with you.
In a time where you can really get caught up in your day to day, RiSE reminds you to stay in the moment. To set your intentions and really enjoy life and the people you spend time with. In a world that is so crazy, you realize that “together we can rise”, that humanity always wins and that we should inspire love.
Start planning for next year and attend RiSE. I hope to attend every year. To get tickets for next year check out their website, Rise Festival.
First four photos courtesy of RiSE