Chinese sky lanterns are popular not only in China, but in many other countries across the world. They are considered to be a vital part of the fireworks displays and are mostly used at birthdays, weddings, anniversary celebrations, corporate events, and other special occasions.
Sky lanterns were originally used in China for military purposes. Later they became popular with children at carnivals. Today, the sky lanterns are being used increasingly at Chinese Mid-Autumn and Lantern festivals.
They are called as Kongming lanterns in China. Some however call them sky candles and fire balloons too.
Sky lanterns are normally made from oiled rice paper put on a bamboo frame, with a small candle or fuel cell composed of a waxy flammable material inside.
On being lit, the flame works to heat up the air inside the lantern, which causes it to rise up into the air and float gently until the flame dies out.
In Taiwan, there is a popular annual Lantern Festival where hundreds of sky lanterns are released. In Northern Thailand they have a festival called “Yi Peng” where multitude of sky lanterns is released into the sky.
Sky lanterns are also gaining popularity in the West on special occasions such as at weddings, New Years Eve and Halloween.
Sky lanterns are considered to be a symbol of good luck and hope and are used at happy occasions to bring happiness into one’s life in most parts of the world.