Lantern festival offers hope and healing.
Written by Temple Kinyon
A successful event entrepreneur, Dan Hill was the mastermind behind worldwide events such as the Ragnar Relay Series and Electric Run. In 2013, while he and his crew volunteered at a lantern festival in Thailand, he began to contemplate. “After a bad week and a bad year, we were exhausted but volunteered for the event anyway. I had no expectations, but when the lanterns were lit, it was a defining moment of clarity for me, my life, and my next event. I’ve never lost that clarity.” Thousands of lanterns floated into the night sky shining light into darkness and also into Dan and his crew’s spirits. RiSE Festival would emerge from that experience and become a unique event to offer hope and healing to thousands.
With passion and focus, Dan and his crew worked for a year to perfect their proprietary lantern design with goals to ensure safety while maintaining the environment. “It had to have a set burn time, fast take-off, instant cooling, plus be 100% biodegradable,” he explained. He established a “Leave No Trace” policy, and even though the lanterns are ecofriendly, he decided to scour the entire area post-event to dispose of all lanterns and litter. “Leaving the area trashed is incongruent to the goal of RiSE,” Dan emphasized.
Lantern design complete, the event details fell into place. Las Vegas’s Jean Dry Lakebed was the site for the first RiSE Festival in October 2014.
Dan’s vision of offering a spiritual, life-changing, healing event took place in spectacular fashion. Ten thousand participants released 20,000 lanterns, sending wishes, dreams, and prayers into the heavens while creating an unbelievably magical experience.
Tiffany Mitchell participated. After facing divorce, miscarriage, and health issues, she attended RiSE Festival to challenge herself to live a more purpose-driven life. “I could have clung to my lantern until it burned itself up, but letting it go, watching it soar, and being comforted by the promise of something new was so much better,” she explained.
According to Angela Morelli Carpenter, Intuitive Guide, when someone sets the intention of releasing pain or a negative belief, they can literally release the negative from their energy and create a turning point in the process of healing. “Your negative beliefs and heartache have the potential of harming your health in a myriad of ways. The act of sending negative emotions and thoughts out of your energy can help you heal and make room for new experiences and a new way of living.”
The second RiSE Festival took place on the Moapa River Reservation. Again, 10,000 hopeful souls arrived, ready to release their lanterns and start a fresh path to both mental and physical health.
Whether it’s saying good-bye to a lost loved one, sending prayers for healing, or wishing for something better, after two years Dan still hesitates to define his event. “It’s a different experience for everyone. I’m proud of RiSE and our culture today where people embrace an event like this, expending energy on life experiences and living a happy, healthy life.”