What is a Chinese Lantern? ¬†Essentially it is a small hot air balloon made of paper, constructed around bamboo with some sort of fuel cell at the bottom to enable the chinese lantern to fly. ¬†Once lit, the hot air generated by the fire is lighter than the cold air, and this lifts the lantern.
It is pretty much agreed that chinese lanterns were first used in China for troops to signal to each other. ¬†If extra help was needed the lanterns would be written on and this message would be released up to the sky to protect the troops in trouble.
Once they were invented, their use became varied and they were used during festivals. ¬†During festivals in China, hundreds of lanterns would be released together with wishes and prayers on them – can you imagine anything so beautiful as hundreds and hundreds of chinese lanterns being released together, being watched by adults and children alike.
In modern times chinese lanterns are popular for all kinds of events such as birthdays, christenings, even family and friends gathering for a BBQ. ¬†And you understand why if you ever have the good fortune to see a mass of chinese lanterns being released together. ¬†It is a sight you will never forget.