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Lanterns over Manchester

The best thing about New Year were......the metaphors

Published on January 4th 2010.

Lanterns over Manchester

It seems to have been an idea borrowed from China or Japan.

But New Year was beautiful this year: and not because of the ice and the snow but because of something more ethereal.

From a fledgling two or three lanterns over Manchester 12 months ago, hundreds took to the skies this time round.

If you are of a dreamy nature then these gentle, shifting, climbing and floating beasts could have been a metaphor for life, pushed this way and that by the unpredictable wind carrying their little flames upwards and onwards. Perfect for New Year and new starts and all that.

If you are of a more practical nature then the lanterns were examples of how hot air rises and gave us a view of the prevailing air currents above Manchester on 31 December 2009 at midnight. Haven't you done your geography GCSE?

Below is a video of some people trying to set fire to themselves in a street in Chorlton in valiant pursuit of this illuminated metaphor.

Although perhaps a better metaphor for life was provided by the nameless individual stuck on a steep icy street in Bolton during the Christmas break. He became so terrified he rang 999 because he was too afraid to go forwards or backwards. Usually in such situations people turn to the Church, the family or the psychiatrist rather than the emergency services.

That poor fella aside, let's have even more lanterns next year. Light up the Manchester skies with fireworks that don't scare animals.

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9 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

TykeJanuary 4th 2010.

Let me assure Lanky Manc that we in God's own country had lanterns too. Strange that they seem to have been the in-way of celebrating the New Year all of a sudden. Was there a government directive? And do they biodegrade?

Lanky MancJanuary 4th 2010.

I loved those lanterns. I want lanterns every night. I want to send lanterns over to Yorkshire with our prevailing westerlies and illuminate their darkened lives.

Romantic in RamsbottomJanuary 4th 2010.

They were utterly delightful set against a clear blue sky in Ramsbottom and as we raced up to the 2nd floor skylight you could see more of them rising across the valley along with the full moon. A few wolf howls completed the scene !(However I did wonder what damage they might do with birds and planes etc etc...)

lesleyJanuary 4th 2010.

I love those lanterns too. We "launched" one on Christmas night in Delph over the Tame valley. It was tricky to get it going and gave us a laugh. But really lovely.Have you read the warnings on the instructions?

DBagJanuary 4th 2010.

We saw tens if not hundreds of them from our fifth floor flat in Old Trafford looking out over south Manchester. They looked absolutely great. More of this!

janeJanuary 4th 2010.

That pic of all the pretty lanterns in the sky is gorgeous! Where did this happen exactly? Would love to see this for myself next NYE

emmawhitefieldJanuary 4th 2010.

They are beautiful - we saw a lot of them when we were in Thailand a few years ago, and this year we used them to commemorate my boyfriend's father's birthday, having lost him to cancer earlier in the year - we all wrote our messages on the paper and then set it off, was lovely.x

Hungry AlwaysJanuary 4th 2010.

They do Tyke. After use I ate mine in the field they'd landed in.

billhicksJanuary 14th 2010.

Wow, this is great

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