If you have a six year old daughter chances are you’ve seen the movie Tangled. I’m not going to lie… I like it as my as my little girl does! The lantern release scene is especially moving and from the first time we saw it my daughter has been enthralled with lanterns.

We’ve spent time learning about lanterns, and she’s even asked to go to China for her next birthday to see them released in real life! (Apparently I’m raising a dreamer!)

So when Grouse Mountain announced that they were doing a lantern release as part of a Chinese New Year celebration I KNEW that we had to be there.

We arrived an hour before sunset and got to take in the beautiful warm “Summer” air. The mountain had a variety of kids activities going on including interactions with their resident owls, and some special guest animals on site in celebration of Chinese new year… goats!

As sunset approached we all headed over to the balcony over looking Vancouver and the ocean. We got our lanterns but were sure not to open them until the last minute… they were made out of rice paper and we didn’t want to rip them.

Vancouver is such a beautiful place to call home!

Vancouver is such a beautiful place to call home!

Grouse Mountain is definitely one of my favorite places in the city to catch the sunset!

Grouse Mountain is definitely one of my favorite places in the city to catch the sunset!

It was really exciting seeing people light their lanterns. It took a while for them to warm up once they were lit and for them to have enough lift to carry them off into the sunset. Everyone celebrated as another one took off into the air and it was fun watching them take go… and some even crashed into the trees or the tram before making their way up into the sky.

It was exciting to see everyone lite their lanterns!

It was exciting to see everyone lite their lanterns!

When it was our turn I anxiously opened our packed and puffed up our lantern… apparently with too much aggression and I ripped our lantern. Fortunately we had back up… oops!

The kids loved seeing our lantern come to lift and it was a neat way for them to interact with the fire and see how the hot hair made the balloon rise.

 

The kids loved helping lite our lantern.

The kids loved helping lite our lantern.

The rest of the night was spent cheering on the lanterns as each one started it’s journey to the sky and the sea. The kids loved watching them go up one by one. Some went fast, some slow, some hit the ground and then took back off into the sky.

This is my favorite photo of the night, I think it really captured what the experience was like.

This is my favorite photo of the night, I think it really captured what the experience was like.

We enjoyed watching the lanterns "race."

We enjoyed watching the lanterns “race.”

What a perfect night for a lantern release!

What a perfect night for a lantern release!

All aboard the Grouse Mountain Tram! Goodnight moon. Goodnight lanterns. Goodnight Grouse.

All aboard the Grouse Mountain Tram! Goodnight moon. Goodnight lanterns. Goodnight Grouse.

We are so grateful to Grouse Mountain for putting on such an awesome event. We really hope they do it again next year… we will be the first ones in line!

Did you know?

* Lanterns date back to the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220) when they were used as lamps

* Lanterns were traditionally used to recognize Buddah but over time they transferred to a festival and a way to celebrate the prosperous, strong and powerful country the Chinese had.

* If you go to a lantern festival (and can read Chinese) you’ll see the lanterns have riddles on the side of them. Answer correctly and you’ll win a small prize. (Most people like the challenge of the riddle over the prize though!)