Lantern making for Chinese Lantern Festival

Chinese Lantern Festival is the time when lantern appears the most. Around the fifteen day of the first month of Chinese lunar calendar (Monday, February, 22, 2016) people make festive lanterns, and kick off events of viewing lanterns and guessing lantern riddles, with a view to pray for a prosperous country and peaceful life.


chinese lantern making

Confucius Institute Reporter
Sun Ying
本刊记者 孙颖
Lantern can be seen virtually everywhere in Chinese people’s daily life, and is a must-have during festivals and holidays. Tradition has it that chinese lantern can be traced back to the Han Dynasty more than two millenniums ago when it was originally used as a lighting tool, and over time it has evolved into a decoration and symbol of jubilant atmosphere.

In Chinese language, “Deng” ( , lamp) and “Ding” ( ) are assonant while the latter has the meaning of population. So in the past, each and every household hung lanterns with the pattern of their surname either under the eave or in the drawing room, implying increasing population. And in ancient China, parents always prepare for each school kid in the family a chinese lantern to be lit by the teacher when the school term begins each year, illuminating students’ promising future.

Having said that, Chinese Lantern Festival is the time when lantern appears the most. Around the fifteen day of the first month of Chinese lunar calendar, people always make festive lanterns, and kick off events of viewing lanterns and guessing lantern riddles, with a view to pray for a prosperous country and peaceful life and add to happy atmosphere for the new year. So, let’s make a lantern with specific “Chinese Flavor”.

chinese lantern making

1. Cut off two paper cups to 16 well-proportioned strips from the mouth to the bottom.

chinese lantern making

2. Cut off the cup body of one cup, make the front end of another cup equally wide with the remaining bottom strips.

chinese lantern making

3. Put the mouth of the two cups face to face and paste correspondingly, use a red rope to pass through the centers of the two bottoms.

chinese lantern making

4. Squeeze in to make the lantern shape, tie a knot and fasten the red rope, and use the brocade belt to decorate the mouth and bottom.

chinese lantern making

5. Dye the lantern. Snip a rectangular red paper to well-proportioned and minute strips and fasten one end like a fringe.

chinese lantern making

6. Fix the fringe to the bottom and then a chinese lantern is made.

chinese lantern making

 


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pdfPublished in Confucius Institute Magazine
Magazine 19. Volume 2. March 2012.
View/Download the print issue in PDF

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