On June 21st in Poznan, a city in central Poland, thousands (millions, zillions) of paper lanterns were released to celebrate the shortest night of the year, called Midsummer Night or St. John’s Night. And the video of this event is maybe the prettiest thing I’ve ever seen. And it’s just a video that I watched on the internet while waiting for my coffee to be ready on a Tuesday morning in my very warm apartment in Brooklyn, NY. Uggghh, video! This video is going to make me look like such an idiot. “What’s the prettiest thing you’ve ever seen, Kelly?” – Important reporter with a very popular, but smart, magazine. “Oh, it’s this video I saw on Gawker, let me bring it up on m–” “This cover story interview is over.” “Noooooo!”

I would really like to go to this event if it happens again. To my future husband: Please blindfold me and take me to Poland (blindfolded the entire time) and then propose during this event. I will say no if this wish isn’t carried out exactly as stated. You’ll have to blindfold me and take me far away destinations a few times before though, so I don’t know exactly what’s going on when you blindfold me and take me to Poland. You’ll figure it out. It NEEDS to be a surprise. I will be a decent wife.

ALSO, uh, what happens the hot paper lanterns fall down? Does everyone die? RIP everyone in this video. Your death was beautiful and worth it. (Via Gawker.)

Comments (31)
  1. This doesn’t hold a candle (teehee?) to Light Up Atlanta

  2. I assume they all used solar powered flashlights to find their way home.

  3. The aftermath is in a different video. After they let them fly, half of the crowd runs away, and they leave their blindfolded significant others, who are expecting a proposal, to be showered in burning paper lanterns. That’s what you get for dating Ashton Kutcher.

    • I dunno. I think a fiery death would be preferably to dating Ashton Kutcher.

      (YA BURNT, Kutcher! And also, hypothetical significant other of Ashton Kutcher in this scenario. Sorry about that.)

    • Speaking of ol’ Ashton, did Gabe point out in the WMOAT how weird it is that he made that movie about seducing older women while being married to Demi Moore? Because, no duh, it’s weird.

  4. That really was beautiful. Way prettier than some dumb bag blowing in the wind.

  5. Meh, it’s no bowl full of double-yolks #miracles

  6. Sorry Kelly, but I’m the lazy type of guy who would just blind fold you until I’m done fast-forwarding the paper lanterns part in “Tangled.”

    • *fast forwarding Tangled*
      “No lanterns here, honey”
      *stops to Flynn Rider bit and fast forwards further*
      “No lanterns yet.”

    • The songs in Tangled were super annoying and the story was okay, but oh my it was the prettiest movie ever! Especially the lanterns. Could job, Disney animators.

  7. Kelly is already +450 upvotes in my heart today

  8. We did this last New Years Eve at my inlaw’s house while we were wasted, then again, maybe it was another holiday or random weekend where we were all wasted. What’s fun is to relase one or two into the night of a vast rural area then everyone jump excitedly and point at it when the random car drives by.

  9. By the way, Kelly, how in hell did you could all of those paper lanterns? I only got up to 1874 before I lost track.

  10. I interned with a guy from Poznan once, at one of those high school DC seminar programs. He’d often comment on how pretty the girls that came in each week were, and I’d have to remind him that they were at most 16 and he was 22.


  11. For anyone else who is curious, this from Wikipedia:

    Sky lanterns, also known as Kongming Lantern are airborne paper lanterns traditionally found in some Asian cultures. They are constructed from oiled rice paper on a bamboo frame, and contain a small candle or fuel cell composed of a waxy flammable material. When lit, the flame heats the air inside the lantern, thus lowering its density causing the lantern to rise into the air. The sky lantern is only airborne for as long as the flame stays alight, after which the lantern floats back to the ground.

  12. This just in: Midsummer Wildfire rages in Poland

  13. I’d love to experience that, but I’m afraid I’d be the only person who’d manage to set fire to myself.

  14. Still better than The Green Lantern.

  15. On an unrelated note, why no True Blood recap yesterday? My boyfriend telling me of the greatness that was True Blood recaps is what brought me into the Videogum fold during Season 3. Not that the site isn’t otherwise wonderful, it is, but Videogum recaps are so integral to my watching of True Blood!

  16. Of course it’s the prettiest thing you’ve ever seen. It’s nothing if not very, very polished.

  17. Don’t lie, Kelly. We all know your real answer:


  19. we can do this in the US because lawsuits and a constitutional ban against fun.

    freedom isn’t free.

  20. Many years ago (7?) I was in Edinburgh, Scotland, a few days before New Years (you can tell this story is going to be good right?); it was dark and a couple friends and i were just wandering looking for a place to eat when all of a sudden a horde of torch wielding villagers walk by. What the fuck? I was all, “let’s follow them!” and the other two were like, “What? we’re hungry! Let’s just go back to the hotel!” and i said, “See ya! I’m following the people with the torches.” and I take off. “WE HAVE TO STICK TOGETHER!” my one friend yells after me.

    So, I’m weaving through the fire wielding crowd as they wind up this hill and I pause because I keep hearing my name? Whoops! it was one of my friends who I had left. “What are you doing? We should go back!” she says. “Come on! We’ve followed them this far!” I say as I grab her hand and lead her back into the mob who seem to know where they are going and soon we are at the top and there is this huge park with some replicas of ruins and a large fire (because torches) and we are looking around and she’s frowning and getting mad because what ARE we doing here? and it IS cold. but then FOOM, FOOM, FOOM, crackle, oooooh!: Fireworks start going off right above our heads. They are so close, and they light up the night and they are beautiful and they go on forever.

    And THAT is the most beautiful, unexpected thing I’ve ever seen. If only someone would have proposed to me then.

    After it was over we walked down the hill (which seemed like a shorter trip) and stopped off at a Burger King (it was right there! and we were soo hungry!) and went back to the hotel where other people from our group were in the lobby. “Did you see the fireworks?” a girl asked us. “We were eating in a fancy restaurant and heard the noise and looked outside and we could see fireworks!”

    “Yeah,” I said, “we saw them.”
    -the end-

  21. this was awesome. thank you, kelly.

  22. Poles are truly glass-half-empty types. We Americans the summer solstice the longest day of the year, not the shortest night.

  23. Someone needs to slap some Indie music on this shit and call it the next Internet Life Changing Sensation Plastic Bag Double Rainbow Guy. Or I’ll just keep hitting refresh on my email.

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