More than just a paper decoration, Just Artifacts paper lanterns hold a great significance in the Chinese culture. Paper lanterns symbolize vitality, fortune, social status and love. A staple festive décor for Chinese culture, paper lanterns, are now widely employed for decoration by all parts of Asia. The culture has developed tons of extremely attractive and pleasing styles of lanterns over years. Traditionally crafted from bamboo, lanterns are now available in a wide variety and style.
As the significance of paper lanterns is observed and followed across the world, people are employing different types and sizes of lanterns for their special occasions. To decorate every nook and cranny of the ambience, one can choose from round, criss-cross, star-shaped and silk lanterns. They come with an array of colors and sizes. While there are simple and plain paper lanterns, lanterns with embossed Chinese characters and with attractive patterns are also available. Holding a great history, lanterns are prominent piece of artifact that holds special space among their users.
Traditional Chinese lantern is usually red, round in shape with golden tassels. The authentic and decorative artifact was originated around 230 B.C. and was considered as one of the earliest portable lighting device. Not only just source of light, lanterns are used throughout the ages as the best form of communication.
There are many fascinating stories about the significance of paper lanterns in history. Conventionally believed to ward off the evil spirits, holding the old tradition, they symbolize both china’s past and coming future. Lanterns are considered to dispel the darkness from home, and invite happiness and fortune.
One of the prime beliefs regarding Chinese culture say they were invented as an alternative to the fire torches by Buddhist monks, night before the Chinese New Year. With the motive of worshiping the divine figure of Buddha, monks lit the lantern to attain mental peace and the way to salvation. Another spiritual connection with lanterns is that they are the simple and effective method of getting rid of the evil and inviting good luck.
New Status Symbol
Initially used just as hanging decoration, lanterns are now more of a status symbol. It has become a common ornamental accessory among people. With a variety of lanterns available with attractive designs and pleasing colors, lanterns are now a staple decorative item among people. Moreover, the size of lamps and material used speaks the wealth owned by the family. Hence, forming new status symbol, lanterns are now sign of sophistication.
Lanterns are used during the famous New Year festival where several groups of people gather and raise their lanterns to pay homage to the loved ones and hope for secure voyage to heaven. The festival is known as Yuan Xiao festival and takes place on 15th day of the new lunar year or first lunar month. On this day, single Chinese women are free to go out alone in an attempt to meet or search for eligible bachelor. Lanterns, till date, are used as matchmakers between the striving individuals during festival.
Means of Communication
Lanterns also serve as the means of communication among neighbors. When placed in the doorways or patio, the color of lantern symbolize the event that family is going through. Like, blue color symbolizes poor health or degenerating health of a family member. Red lantern is when there is marriage, birthday or any special occasion. White is for death in Chinese culture or symbolizes mourn for a family member.
The charm of lanterns in Chinese culture is significant and will stay forever. Lanterns continue to dazzle huge crowds with their beauty and versatility. The variety of patterns, colors and sizes not only make them a symbol of folk art of china, but also pleasing accessory for home décor. They are even used in wedding and other special occasions and ceremonies. With the effect on the masses today, it can rightly be said the history and significance of paper lanterns has only strengthened the love for the object of Chinese culture. Chinese art, history and tradition are still preserved via lanterns across the world.