Flying Wish Paper: Housewarmings, New Years & More

A dear friend is moving away, and the only thing I can console myself with is that her going-away party gave me an excuse to finally buy the magical & mysterious Flying Wish Paper...

I can't think of a lovelier ritual for friends to perform as they wish each other or one of their number well. Everyone writes a wish on a piece of special paper, crumples it, rolls it into a tube (I had to try like 6 times!), and lights the paper on fire. It burns like ordinary paper after seeing these in action in a darker room, I realized the flame is actually green & sparkly! for a moment, and then suddenly, whooosh! It flies up to the ceiling, and the charred remains float gently down like a graceful jellyfish. I couldn't do the flying & floating justice in photos, so you'll have to take my word for it: it was magical, something that has to be experienced in person. We'll all be wishing great things for our friend as she treks north, but I would love to use these again at a party for a happier occasion- a new home, a new love, a new year.

I found Flying Wish Paper at Kinokuniya Stationery And Gifts (and visited it three times & asked the clerks lots of questions before finally purchasing it!) in San Francisco's Japantown, but the company's website lists many other stockists.

Images: Tess Wilson