Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Some paper lanterns are made to float in the air. This happens when the heat from the candle below the lantern builds up in the enclosed lantern causing it to rise and the paper lantern to float away like a hot air balloon, working on the same principle. These fiery balloons can be seen heading skywards during many festivals like the Chinese New Year festivities. Each lantern that rises up takes with it wishes for a prosperous New Year for the sender. In the ancient times they used to make these artefacts with the help of bamboo. Sturdy bamboo frames were covered with rice paper back then, but as times passed, the structure of these lanterns became very refined and intricate. Modern versions are made from materials such as plastic, origami paper, and aluminium and from fire resistant rice paper that does not catch fire like ordinary paper. For extra safety, replace the candle with small electric lights such as Christmas lights.