Dec 11, 2017

Welcome to ChineseSkyLantern.com !

What is Sky Lantern?
Sky lanterns, also known as Kongming Lantern are airborne paper lanterns traditionally found in some Asian cultures. They are constructed from oiled rice paper on a bamboo frame, and contain a small candle or fuel cell composed of a waxy flammable material. When lit, the flame heats the air inside the lantern, thus lowering its density causing the lantern to rise into the air. The sky lantern is only airborne for as long as the flame stays alight, after which the lantern floats back to the ground.

Sky lanterns are also referred to as sky candles or fire balloons, however the latter term is also used to refer to balloon munitions used during World War II.

Lanterns have proved extremely unpopular with farmers in many countries due to the potential for causing crop fires and the chance of death of livestock on consuming the lantern remains upon landing.

HIstory of Sky Lantern

According to popular lore, the Kongming Lantern (Chinese: 孔明燈) was the first hot air balloon, said to be invented by the sage and military strategist Zhuge Liang,[2] whose reverent term of address (i.e. Chinese style name) was Kongming. They were first deployed at the turn of the 3rd century as a type of signaling balloon or, it is claimed, as a type of spy blimp in warfare. Alternatively the name may come from the lantern's resemblance to the hat Kongming is traditionally shown to be wearing.

It is likely that this technological discovery is misattributed because of the Chinese historical practice of attributing great discoveries to significant historical figures rather than to the actual inventors. According to the sinologist and historian of science Joseph Needham, the Chinese experimented with mini-hot air balloons from as early as the 3rd century BC, during the Warring States period, which suggests that the attribution of its invention to Kongming is anachronistic and apocryphal.

Chinese festivals

In ancient China, sky lanterns were strategically used in wars. However later on, non-military applications were employed as they became popular with children at carnivals. These lanterns were subsequently incorporated into festivals like the Chinese Mid-Autumn and Lantern Festivals. Pingxi District in New Taipei City of Taiwan holds an annual Lantern Festival in which sky lanterns are released.

 

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