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The Water Lantern Festival – Your Quick Guide

Festivals are a way to celebrate our passions with other people. Music festivals are usually associated with manic dancing and a dome effect of giddy chaos.

The Water Lantern Festival flips the script – while passions are still celebrated, quiet moments are taken to appreciate connections with loved one’s, oneself, and life around us.

This article explores the vibe of this festival and how everything comes together.

42North Marketing and Production Studio in Chantam-Kent, Ontario, Canada via 42North, Pexels

What Is the Water Lantern Festival?

The Water Lantern Festival, presented by One World Lantern Festival LLC, offers a unique and enchanting experience. Participants register on-site and pay a fee for a special knapsack containing the essential paper lantern kit. Each attendee customizes their lantern with words or drawings.

At a designated time, after the sun has set, festivalgoers release their lanterns onto the water, creating a mesmerizing display reminiscent of the scene in the movie Tangled. This magical event brings together people from all walks of life and provides an opportunity for creativity, healing, hope, new connections, and the making of lasting memories.

Where Is the Water Lantern Festival Held?

Embracing its bohemian spirit, the festival isn’t confined to one specific location. Festivities take place in every state of America, and the festival’s organizers are working to expand the events the international locations. Naturally, each location must be situated near a water body.

Anthony Quintano from Honolulu, HI, United States, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
Anthony Quintano from Honolulu, HI, United States, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

When Does the Water Lantern Festival Take Place?

Destiny Konadu in Detroit, Michigan, United States via Destiny Konadu, Pexels.

To catch this nomadic event, those intrigued can visit the official Water Lantern Festival website and click on the “locations” tab. From there they can navigate to the specific state and city to view the event details and purchase tickets. Alternatively, if a date isn’t yet available for a city, the “Notify Me” button can be used to ensure prompt notification when the festival is headed there.

What Else Does the Festival Offer?

Photographs of events at the Water Lantern Festival
Various event photos at multiple sites via The Water Lantern Festival Facebook page.

To enhance the festivities leading up to the lantern launch, on-site offerings include food trucks, music, live performers, a scavenger hunt, and a variety of vendors.


  • Can I bring my own food?
    Yes, festivalgoers are welcome to bring their own food.  The event also organizes on-site food trucks.
  • Is alcohol allowed?
    Although some sites do allow the consumption of alcohol on-site, others strictly forbid it.  The page of the specific event you will be attending usually contains this information.
  • Can I bring my own lantern?
    The Water Lantern Festival is committed to leaving the environment in a cleaner state than before the event.  The lanterns sold for the festival are specifically patented to ensure they remain floating until the team can collect them the following the festivities.  For this reason, bringing your own lantern is not permitted. 
  • Can my pet also attend?
    Unless they are a registered service animal, it’s requested that pets be left at home.
  • Can I camp on-site after the festival?
    No, staff need to clean up the event site after the lantern launch and need festivalgoers to evacuate.

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Inge Strauss