Monday, October 5, 2009

Giant lanterns:

The other most commonly seen lantern is the giant paper lantern that is used to hang in different display shows at festivals, processions and temples. This type of lantern is referred to as the “Buddha’s gastronomy”. There are many different patterns seen in these types of lanterns. Giant lanterns are part of many processions and ceremonies across the world. The elegance and beauty of these lanterns make some people prefer them merely for lighting purposes.

Categories of lanterns:

According to Chinese culture, there are five main categories of paper lanterns. Little ones, which are called “baby’s bottom”, are normally used as Christmas lights. The long and tubular lanterns that are often used as a display outside restaurants are referred to as “rolling paper”. The “big red” and the “tomato light” are the terms used for the most popularly seen spherical mid-sized lanterns. Other decorative shapes, such as geometrical shapes and unique designs, fall into the “crystal magic” category.

Beyond Asian culture:

Today, the use of paper lanterns for festivals is common across the globe. Lanterns are even commonly used during Christmas festivals.

Besides festivals, lately paper lanterns are used solely as decorations in people’s houses or commercial shops. The elegance of these lanterns brings glamour wherever they are used, and so the popularity of these lanterns continues to grow.

Decorative lucky charms

As per Asian culture, or to be precise, Chinese culture, and this legend, sky lanterns proved to be a lucky charm that saved villages from disaster and fire. Centuries after these stories were told for the first time, people from China still celebrate the lantern festival; this is the concluding day of the famous fifteen-day New Year celebration.

With time, the lantern’s popularity spread to other continents. The charisma of these lanterns and their ability to beautify a home made people opt for paper lanterns more and more as decorative items.

Going back to ancient times

Paper lanterns, also called sky lanterns, have unknowingly become a part of the festivals and lives of people from cultures across the world. A few Chinese legends, which take you back to ancient times, tell the story of how paper lanterns came to be used. One such story explains that this invention was basically built to please the gods from heaven. Another legend tells about the anger of the Jade emperor from heaven, who made villagers put up sky lanterns and pretend that the capital was on fire.