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Hyderabad hosts India's first ever sky latern festival

Hyderabad, Mon, 26 Mar 2012 ANI

Hyderabad, Mar.26 (ANI): Scores of people celebrated India's first ever sky lantern festival here on Sunday.

The festival is based on an ancient Asian tradition where sky lanterns are released as a form of prayer for good luck and blessings.

Prashanth, the organiser of the festival, expressed his joy over the huge turnout of Hyderabad city residents.

The response was very, very good. It was actually fantastic. All the Hyderabadis came and supported the cause and it is a great moment," he said.

Organisers estimated that some 15,000 people took part in the festival.

Enthusiastic participants like Subhash praised the festival for bringing people together and creating a sense of community.

"Public got together, they socialised, they enjoyed the event and the evening. I think it is a good feeling. People will go back with the real happiness after being part of this wonderful event. See the way people are enjoying here and it is very rare to have this sort of event," he said.

The event also made it into the Guinness Book of World Records for the most number of sky lanterns released simultaneously.

Around 30,000 lanterns were released surpassing the last record of 10,000 in Indonesia in 2009.

The tradition of releasing lanterns began during China's Ching Dynasty when bands of outlaws frequently raided villages, forcing local residents to seek refuge in the mountains. The lanterns were signals used by the village watchmen to inform the refugees that their houses were safe again.

One of the world's oldest lantern festivals known as Yuan Xiao Jie is a Chinese festival celebrated on the fifteenth day of the first month in the lunar year in the Chinese calendar. (ANI)

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