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Legend about Sky Lanterns

As far back as the 11th century many monks lived in one small Chinese village (there would seem to be nearby existing Beijing (China) although it is unknown for a fact). They pursued a trade and farming. The labour of monks was hard: they had 14 - 16 hours of travail providing not only themselves with daily bread but helped the whole their village. The climate and soil of that region was not suit to grow rice and other crops. Drought and sand storm didn’t let crop to come up.

After a while villagers completely lost their hearts but the monks held their ground. Their leader Mr. Chji Lin always tried to put spirit into the village and the inhabitants. Strain was rising in the village and Chji Lin and his monks began praying and lighting flames every night in order not to allow stealing, other lawless acts and villagers leaving for other places.

Every night the village was lighted up with glow of flames. The monks said that fire cleared soul and empowered all of them. The villagers lost their anxieties and thirst for boredom and existence, they were filled up with strength unfettering their minds from evil thoughts quite unconsciously. Little by little life in the village was returning to normal and crop started yielding. Once a week the monks lighted flames. This was not enough and in order to continue stability of the life they began engaging villagers to make weekly holidays lit by the fire.

One day Chji Lin proposed to the closest monks to use other items in stead of flames that could add symbolism to this ceremony and bestow smiles upon people and make them delight out of what is going on at the same time. The monks decided to build balloon of light rice paper. They fastened paper cube to the square bamboo frame. In such a way the history of Sky Lanterns spring from. At the beginning Sky Lantern was not able to hover in the sky for a long time: one villager held paper cubes with bamboo frame and the other put open fire to the hole (usually by flame) and waited for some seconds. The fire lighted up Sky Lantern and it was really divine because three hundred villagers performed the same! Filled by hot air a Sky Lantern flied up and hovered in the sky for some seconds and the procedure was repeated… Chji Lin decided that it was necessary to mount flame in the base of the structure of Sky Lantern. The monks strained the thinnest wire to bamboo frame and put wax-impregnated paper roll in the centre. Finally Sky Lantern took the air gladden all villagers by beauty of fly.

From then onward the villagers had a tradition to use Sky Lantern at holidays, weddings or birthdays. Flying a Sky Lantern the villager were filled with new power and energy to life and passed purge stage. From behind new crops like tea and cotton were raised in the village. The things rose in the village. News of Sky Lanterns has spread throughout Asia.

At that time Mongols established their dominance over the territory known now as China. People told there was a gifted son of one prosperous peasant. He travelled a lot and he couldn’t stand Mongol invaders. He was growing up and the thought of revolt crossed his mind. Received blessing young Chju Yuandjan started prepare for a journey to find persons holding the same views. One of old men, grandson or great grandson of Chji Lin gave him his horse and box of Sky Lanterns. When Chju asked him what they were for the old men explained that warrior spirit would be empowered upon Sky Lantern fly and they would be in use to him for soundless signal.

At that moment Chju Yuandjan wasn’t aware how Sky Lanterns could be useful in war. Now nobody remembers how Chju Yuandjan found like-minded persons and became leader of the revolt. But one craftsman told that Chju and his friends used Sky Lanterns not to make signals but to distract attention of enemy. When enemy saw many beautiful Sky Lanterns flied by their enemies they took it for celebration of Loi Kratong (Lantern Festival) and diverted their attention away. Thereby with the help of Sky Lanterns Chju Yuandjan became the head of Min state that he had established.

This legend lost background long time ago but we succeed hearing it from one Buddhist monk who affirmed ardently that it is strict truth… But who knows… In fact the legend is meant to…