Saturday, June 01, 2013

Sky lanterns

After packing up the camera, and heading to the temple to get a ticket for the ferry, I spotted some Tua Pek Kong (大伯公) devotees releasing sky lanterns ((kongming lanterns (孔明燈)). The camera came out of the bag again and since I didn't have a wide angle lens, I improvised using the Canon 50 mm f2.5 macro lens. Although it's suppose to be a macro lens, I've used it quite successfully for portraits and shooting in low light conditions.

This is the first time that I've seen sky lanterns in Singapore, and I was thrilled as hadn't made it  to photograph the Loi Krathong festival.
According to popular Chinese folklore the shape of the sky lantern is fashioned after Zhuge Liang’s (諸葛亮) hat. Zhuge Liang was Chancellor of Shu Han(蜀漢) during the Three Kingdoms(三國) period in China. He would use these lanterns as a means of communication during war. The lanterns are called kongming lanterns (孔明燈) because Zhuge Liang also went by the name Kongming. 
In modern times, these lanterns carry devotees’ prayers to the heavens. Before releasing them, devotees would write down their wishes, hopes and dreams on the lanterns in the hopes that the deities may see them.

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