Make the Most of Rise Lantern Festival

Make the Most of Rise Lantern Festival


Make the Most of Rise Lantern Festival | Here and Air

If you’ve never heard of the Rise Lantern Festival, well, you’re missing out my friend. It’s held every year at the Mojave Desert in Nevada. I was fortunate enough to experience the extravaganza this year (their second year hosting) and I am not exaggerating when I say it is the most spectacular night I’ve ever experienced. Lanterns fill the entire sky; it was so beautiful I could not stop bawling.


Rise is about coming together and letting go of the past, sparking dreams, elevating hopes, or sending messages to loved ones who have passed on.


Each lantern is unique and represents your own spiritual journey as you send them into the sky. There is also live music and food trucks throughout the night. Aside from it being a complete fire hazard (my purse caught on fire for a few seconds, eek), it’s definitely an unforgettable night; worth every penny.


EVENT DETAILSMake the Most of Rise Lantern Festival | Here and Air

When you arrive at the festival, you will find booths handing out mats and lanterns in your section. You are each given a mat, two lanterns, and two markers. As far as I know, you are not allowed to bring your own lantern (or any blankets). Once you’ve gotten everything, claim a torch in your section (look on your ticket). It’s pretty much an all day event.


It starts out with live music while people are arriving and getting settled in their section. Use this time to relax, mingle, write/decorate your lantern however you wish. The first release of the lanterns will be in unison after sunset. You can release your second lantern with your friends & family anytime within the remainder of the night.



HOW TO PROPERLY LIGHT YOUR LANTERNMake the Most of Rise Lantern Festival | Here and Air

Lighting a lantern requires 2-3 people. After sunset, lighters will be passed around so that you can light up your torch.


1. Light your torch
2. Hold your lantern above the torch and light the block at the bottom (ask your friends for help)
3. Keep the lantern steady above the torch for about two minutes
4. When you start feeling resistance from your lantern, let go and send it skyward!
5. Wave goodbye and take pictures, ta da!


Make the Most of Rise Lantern Festival | Here and AirEXTRA TIPS TO MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR EXPERIENCE


1. Purchase tickets in advance

The earlier, the cheaper. These tickets sell out quickly so don’t hesitate!


2. Eat before you go

You aren’t allowed to bring any outside food or drinks (besides water). There will be food trucks and craft beer available for purchase, but be prepared to wait in line. I ate at the Aria Buffet right before (fatty); it held me down the rest of the night.


3. Wear comfortable clothes

Make sure to wear proper shoes. You do not want to wear your good shoes because you’ll be trekking through dirt from the parking lot to the venue (about half a mile). My boots were completely covered in dirt, luckily they were old. It’s probably a good idea to just dress for comfort because:


1. It’s an all day event
2. There’s a small possibility of your clothes catching on fire, so don’t wear your favorite top.


4. Bring water

You don’t wanna have to purchase it.


5. Be there early

You can arrive whenever you want, but there are a few things to consider. If you come as soon as the doors open, it might be kind of hot. If you come a couple hours before sunset, there will be major traffic. We were a mile away from the freeway exit and couldn’t get out until an hour. Then there was more traffic heading into the parking lot.


6. Get ready to duck

Lanterns are going to be flying all over the place. Some will fail to launch and will head right in your direction. It’s easy to get hit by one of these bad boys, it can get really dangerous. Just be on the lookout and make sure to have other people’s back when you see a lantern headed their way.


7. Wait out the outgoing traffic

If you stay the entire night (I recommend you do, there will be fireworks!), wait out the traffic —unless you wanna sit in it for a few hours.


Make the Most of Rise Lantern Festival | Here and AirMake the Most of Rise Lantern Festival | Here and Air


For more information:

Locations: Mojave Desert, NV and Phoenix, AZ




Here & Air Signature


Morocco sample preset

The Morocco Preset creates the perfect dreamy blue hues and is great for bringing back overexposed skies. Sign up to get instant access now!

Powered by ConvertKit
  • Kerstin
    Posted at 04:56h, 05 November Reply

    Oh wow that looks absolutely glorious. Would love to experience that too one day 🙂

    Love, kerstin

    • Carmelisse
      Posted at 05:41h, 05 November Reply

      Thanks Kerstin, yeah definitely add it to your list! It was amazing 🙂

  • Katie
    Posted at 18:01h, 04 November Reply

    When I first saw the feature photo for this post, I thought for sure you must be writing about Loi Krathong in Thailand! Had no idea a festival like this existed anywhere in the States. I’ve always wondered about what happens to the lanterns after they’re lit and was pretty psyched to see on the festival’s website that they’re all retrieved afterward and are biodegradable anyway. Definitely adding this to my US travel list 🙂 seems like a dream for photography, too!

    • Carmelisse
      Posted at 20:42h, 04 November Reply

      Ahh I’m so glad they started doing it here. I’ve always seen pictures of the one in Thailand, it looks magical! It’s their second year doing it in the states. Definitely try to go the next event!

Post A Comment