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Chinese Sky Lanterns: Unique Lanterns For Weddings And Special Events

By Edited Feb 17, 2014 0 0

Chinese sky lanterns are a surprising value. Not only are they inexpensive, they pack a punch in terms of creating memorable moments. Releasing one (or many as a group) and watching them float gracefully into the sky is a sure-fire way to create a lasting memory for a wedding or special event. Here, you'll uncover more information on these unique lanterns, see a Chinese sky lantern launch, and learn about the prices for them at retailers.

Chinese Sky Lanterns: Making A Moment

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Imagine fifty people at a wedding reception as it nears sunset, all holding beautifully lit, multi-colored paper lanterns. And on a signal, all of them release these majestic lanterns, which float up, up, and away creating a swath of color and light against nature's beauty. It's the type of social moment in which lasting memories are born, and Chinese sky lanterns make it possible.

Also known as Chinese floating lanterns, Kongming lanterns, and wish lanterns, these sky lanterns are a simple way to make a moment special. They've been used for hundreds of years to generate "oohs and aahs" from spectators (and even to light up battle grounds in ancient China). 

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They work on the same principle as a hot air balloon. It's a really simple idea - warm air is much lighter than cool air, so the warm air generated by the lantern's fuel source rises up and lifts the lantern up into the sky.

Typically sky lanterns are made like other paper lanterns, with rice paper (treated to be flame retardant) and a thin frame, often made from bamboo. They come in many colors and designs. A fuel cell is used to generate the heat which warms the air. The lanterns can rise pretty high - sometimes topping a thousand feet - and they can easily travel over a mile in distance (often two miles or more). When the fuel cell burns out after about ten minutes, the Chinese sky lanterns fall back to earth. The materials used in most varieties are 100% biodegradable, so there is no harm to the environment. 

Chinese Sky Lantern Traditions And Uses

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Since these airborne lanterns are also known as wish lanterns, it shouldn't be surprising that making a wish upon the launch of your lantern is a big tradition. It's a symbolic gesture that helps bring the wishing to life - giving it a concrete reality in the same way as throwing a coin in a fountain does.

There's a real soulful quality to releasing dozens of sky lanterns simultaneously, which has made the practice a popular one for weddings, special events, and holidays. In fact, while the release of these paper lanterns can be a very social activity, when it's paired with the wishing tradition, it also becomes very personal. This intermixing of social and personal, along with just the pure beauty of the lanterns, makes the experience extra special.

Chinese Sky Lanterns Launch

It's a beautiful sight to see, as hundreds of sky lanterns dot the night sky.

Sky Lantern Rules And Regulations

If you're liking the idea of Chinese sky lanterns, make sure you do your homework on the regulations in your area regarding them. Think of them as you would fireworks. Since there is an open flame involved, some areas have ordinances on their selling or require permits for their usage. While in most instances, this won't be an issue, it's best to check your local and state laws just in case. 

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Chinese Sky Lantern Prices

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As mentioned, the prices are excellent for these paper lanterns. For most sky lantern varieties, each lantern can easily be less than a dollar when you buy them in sets, and you'll rarely see lanterns for more than $2 per piece. Those that are have more intricate designs which very well may be worth the additional few pennies.

Chinese sky lanterns offer a pretty potent combination of budget-friendly beauty and experiential delight. If you're looking for "the thing" to bring your group together and make your special event, party, or wedding a memorable one, you definitely should consider them. They've got style.

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