Poland celebrates summer solstice with 15,000 lanterns

Claudine Zap
The Sideshow

To celebrate the shortest night of the year, crowds descended on the Polish city of Poznan to release 15,000 gleaming lanterns into the night sky.

The candle-lit balloons, which floated overhead, cast a magical glow over the city--giving meaning to what organizers on Facebook called the "most romantic night in Poland." The event for St. John's Night, as it's called there, was organized by the Fundacja ARS, a Polish arts organization, which had promoted the popular event the previous year.

Video shot on June 21 is catching interest on the Web, with more than 83,000 views so far. Participants were asked to pick up a paper lantern and assemble near the Warta River that night to release the red, green, and yellow lights that rose heavenward, creating dots of color across a darkening sky.

By releasing more paper lanterns than ever before, the festival reached world record-breaking status--and a lasting image to kick off summer, to boot.