China Lantern

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Culture

Lantern


A lantern is a portable lighting device or mounted light fixture used to illuminate broad areas. Lanterns may also be used for signaling, as torches, or as general light sources outdoors. Low light level varieties are used for decoration. The term "lantern" is also used more generically to mean a light source, or the enclosure for a light source. Examples are glass pane enclosed street lights, or the housing for the top lamp and lens section of a lighthouse


Lantern History
 Lanterns in ancient China were made of silk, paper, or animal skin with frames made of bamboo or wood.[3] One of the earliest descriptions of paper lanterns is found in records from Khotan, which describe a "mounting lantern" made of white paper.

The simplest technology used is the candle lantern. Candles give only a faint light, and must be protected from wind to prevent flickering or complete extinguishment. A typical candle lantern is a metal box or cylinder with glass or mica side panels and an opening or ventilated cover on the top.


Traditional and decorative lanterns
 Decorative lanterns exist in a wide range of designs. Some hang from buildings, while others are placed on or just above the ground. Paper lanterns occur in societies around the world. Modern varieties often place an electric light in a decorative glass case..
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The ancient Chinese sometimes captured fireflies in transparent or semi-transparent containers and used them as (short-term) lanterns. Raise the Red Lantern, a Chinese film, prominently features lanterns as a motif. Lanterns are used in many Chinese festivals. During the Ghost Festival, lotus shaped lanterns are set afloat in rivers and seas to symbolic guide the lost souls of forgotten ancestors to the afterlife. During the Lantern Festival, the displaying of many lanterns is still a common sight on the 15th day of the first lunar month throughout China. In Chinese festivities, the kongming lanterns can be seen floating high into the sky during festivities.



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