Sky lanterns are paper-made small hot air balloons with a small fire inside that can be perceived moving in the sky. These are released by people not only for fun and entertainment but also for various religious and traditional reasons in all parts of the world. Widely used at birthdays, weddings, anniversary celebrations, corporate events, and other special occasions, sky lanterns add light in the dark sky. In East Asian cultures, especially in China, Chinese sky lanterns have their own relevance and utility.
Originally used for military purposes and carnivals, sky lanterns are used at Chinese Mid-Autumn and Lantern festivals these days. They are also known by the names of Kongming lanterns, sky candles and fire balloons. They are prepared from oiled rice paper and put on a bamboo frame with a small candle consisted of a waxy flammable material. The hot balloon rises up into the air when air inside the balloon becomes hot.
The annual Lantern Festival of Taiwan and Yi Peng festival of Thailand are perfect example of importance and utility of Chinese sky lanterns. Today, we can see the popularity of these hot balloons on various occasions such as weddings, New Years Eve and Halloween in Western countries.