Historically, sky lanterns have been an important part of Asian weddings, and this tradition still holds today. But even in Western cultures, these illuminated symbols of hope and gratitude perfectly capture the spirit of a wedding, along with the hope newlyweds feel as they begin their new journey as man and wife. If there is one thing that will make your special day even more memorable, it’s the sight of dozens of sky lanterns floating up toward the heavens, released by the people you care most about.
While especially suited to weddings, sky lanterns can be great way to mark almost any special occasion. Think of sending up one white lantern to welcome your newborn into this world, or sending up two complimentary lanterns to commemorate an engagement party. If you have a parent approaching a milestone birthday, sky lanterns can be the perfect way to commemorate the joy and solemnity of the event. Imagine lighting a sea of seventy-five brightly-coloured lanterns on your father’s 75th birthday—one in thanks for and celebration of each treasured year. Then imagine watching them lift gently up into sky. What present or ritual could better commemorate the date?
A lantern release would also be a great way both to celebrate and bring attention to your business opening, or send a new graduate off into the world. Sky lanterns can be a special way to commemorate any rite of passage—even New Year’s Eve. Whether you’re thankful for what’s come before, or hopeful about what’s on the horizon, a sky lantern can make a special event more memorable for your family, loved ones, and guests.
Modern sky lanterns share their same basic design with the first sky lanterns made almost 2000 years ago. They’re essentially hot air balloons which trap hot hair. Heating air lowers its density, making it lighter than the air outside the balloon, which makes a lantern rise.
All sky lanterns are at least slightly smaller at the base than at the top to help them rise. The sides of a sky lantern, known as gores, were originally made of oiled rice paper stretched over a bamboo frame in which a candle was hung. Candles were later replaced with a folded or rolled waxy combustible fuel cell suspended in the middle of the lantern’s lower rim.
While some modern lanterns are still made this way, the best models are eco-friendly and made of biodegradable, flame-retardant materials like treated rice or mulberry paper, reclaimed bamboo, and reclaimed wax fuel cells. The sides of a flame-retardant sky lantern are designed to char instead of ignite, making them much safer than traditional non-treated rice paper lanterns or cheaper models made from inferior products. Biodegradable models contain no wires and little or no other materials harmful to the earth.
Lantern Shapes, Styles, and Colours.
Today’s sky lanterns are available in a seemingly endless variety of colours, sizes, and shapes. The shapes available include but are not limited to the traditional hat-shaped designs, cylindrical lanterns, novelty shapes like footballs, hearts, or cubes. Lanterns can also vary in size from a tiny size, to traditional (90cm x 55cm x 55cm), to large and even jumbo-sized models.
Lanterns also come in every colour of the rainbow. Best Sky Lanterns, one of the UK’s largest and most respected online sky lantern vendors, sells individual lanterns and lantern packages in white, orange, red, yellow, blue, purple, and plum red.
Keep in mind that buying an eco lantern doesn’t mean you have to limit your choices. Reputable and safe vendors offer biodegradable lanterns in every shape, size and colour.