The art of creating paper lanterns is a Chinese tradition that dates back thousands of years. Today, they are a highly valued interior decoration item used all around the world.
The earliest evidence of paper lantern making in China dates to 230 BC. Over time, the lanterns became a symbol of good fortune and longevity, which they continue to represent to this day.
Chinese lanterns grew in popularity thanks to the Chinese Lantern Festival celebrated on the 15th day of the first month of Chinese New Year. People celebrate by making lanterns in honor of the first full moon of the year, parading their lanterns through the streets.
Not only that, but the lanterns were also attributed mystical properties. The Chinese believed them to be a channel of communication with their dead loved ones.
Nowadays, however, hanging lanterns have taken on a whole new significance in China. Ever since modern technologies began improving communications between countries, the Chinese paper lantern has reached all corners of our planet. The demand for the lanterns grew, as a result, and the Chinese have successfully capitalized on this ancient tradition. The paper lanterns have been transformed into an outlet for Chinese creativity and the artists who make them have developed all sorts of innovative designs with ornate detail work.
Ever since, hanging lanterns have been used to celebrate special events like birthdays, weddings and anniversaries. They’ve even been used for military communication purposes, and at one time they were seen as a status symbol. The greater quantity of lanterns and the larger their size in a person’s home, the richer they were thought to be.
Today, the Chinese paper lantern has been embraced as a unique and beautiful means of decorating one’s home or other interior space. In interior design, the lanterns provide color and an oriental flavor. Hanging lanterns of all different sizes, shapes, colors and styles can be purchased in interior design stores and specialty shops or you can even make your own following a few simple steps.
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Rob Payne is the founder of Hanging Lanterns, suppliers of Chinese lanterns
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