Thousands Of Biodegradable Lanterns Soar Above The Mojave Desert Illuminating Night Skies

The night just got brighter.

For those who already feel the winter darkness creeping in and can't wait for long, bright summer days to come — we have exactly what you need: plenty of light! 

See, not so long ago, on October 10, thousands of people gathered at the Moapa River Indian Reservation just outside Las Vegas to battle the gloom and celebrate hopes, dreams, and wishes by illuminating the night skies with 20,000 biodegradable lanterns.

Naturally, the awe-inspiring spectacle was captured in hundreds of photos that, just like the lanterns, lit up the Web, and brought in a little bit of that much-needed summer brightness and warmth.

The organizers of RiSE Lantern Festival say they were inspired by a thousand-year-old tradition that originated in Asia.

"It's a centuries-old idea that's both simple and powerful. Thousands of lanterns, each representing a hope, a dream, a new leaf ..." they write.

Today, the goal of RiSE is to "elevate hope, ignite dreams, and create memories" that people will never forget.

And it really looks like an elevating experience. Just look at this sea of light!

According to RiSE, more than 10,000 people gathered to this year's festival, releasing about 20,000 biodegradable lanterns into the air over the Mojave Desert.

Each attendee was given three lanterns and invited to write messages to their loved ones on them.

"Two years ago my father passed away. It was one of the worst days of my life. One year after his passing I attended the first Rise Festival in Las Vegas. I was overwhelmed with emotion as I gazed up at 10,000 lanterns lighting up the sky. I followed the lantern I sent up to my father until it became a faint light in the distance, I knew it had reached him, wherever he was. It was truly the most magical experience I had ever had. 1 year later, just a few days shy of my dad's two year anniversary I sat writing another note to him on my paper lantern. I whispered, "I love you, Daddy" and let go of the lantern once again. I smiled as I watched it float away and a feeling of peace washed over me. RiSE has allowed me to speak to my father even though he is gone and for that I will forever be grateful," — Kristen, Nevada.

They sent their most beautiful thoughts.

This one says "Stay golden and be free."

"I love you."

The organizers took extreme measures to make sure the festival doesn't cause any fires and is environmentally friendly.

Their "Leave No Trace" policy ensured the event space and surrounding areas are left safe and clean.

According to a RiSE Lantern Festival press release, massive volunteer crews worked to clear the event space and scour the surrounding area. 

The result was better than expected — organizers claim that "not only did every lantern get picked up, but three 30-yard dumpsters of pre-existing litter were removed from the Nevada event, enhancing the natural beauty of the landscape."

Additionally, the RiSE team purchased carbon offsets for every vehicle they used in the setup and cleanup of the festival, making sure their environment protection policy is all-encompassing.