Today, cheap paper lanterns are used in many celebrations in all parts of the globe, and wedding celebrations are not an exception. In fact, you can see some of the most elaborate designs and sophisticated Today, paper lanterns are used in many celebrations in all parts of the globe, and wedding celebrations are not an exception. In fact, you can see some of the most elaborate designs and sophisticated wedding paper lanterns. Aside from the magic, elegance, romance and beauty they create in any wedding celebration, paper lanterns are chosen by many people over other decorations for various reasons. Traditionally round and red, these wedding paper lanterns that now come in different sizes, styles, shapes and colors are strategically placed in wedding venues to produce an extraordinary brilliance, creating a very joyous and pleasant atmosphere.
In this day and age, although cheap paper lanterns can be mostly associated with wedding celebrations worldwide, in the past they were used for other purposes and to symbolize other events in the lives of people or provide a means of protection for a particular country against invaders. Paper lanterns originated in China in 250 BCE for the main purpose of improving the quality of light produced by an open flame. In other words, the wedding paper lanterns were used to partly cover the flames, reducing its intensity and producing a soft glow. Soon different artists use the paper lanterns as a form of their art expression. This was the start of creating cheap paper lanterns with unique patterns and designs.
Chinese Lantern Festival
The Lantern Festival in China was first celebrated in 230 B.C. Many people gathered altogether during this time and raised the lanterns they had prepared, hoping to find their dearly departed as they journey towards heaven. Also, associated with the Chinese New Year celebrations, this festival originated as a symbol of the Chinese thanksgiving for the good harvest and blessings. Today, aside from China, several countries in Asia, from Thailand to Taiwan, also celebrate their own lantern festivals as part of their cultural ceremonies. Also, after their travels through China the explorers from Europe particularly from Portugal in the 16th century began to adopt this custom and introduced it to Mexico and Brazil.
There is a theory that the lanterns were created to serve as a substitute for the torches the Buddhist monks used the night prior to the New Year celebration in China. They carried paper lanterns instead of the torches hoping to discover Buddha’s divine figure and Buddha’s Bodhisattvas. These cheap paper lanterns were also believed to invite good luck and ward off evil spirits.
For military purposes, owing to the wisdom of the Chinese war hero, Zhuge Liang, sky lanterns were also utilized to inform the neighboring cities and prepare them for potential danger or attack.
Lanterns were used by the villagers to brighten the streets at night, providing an easy path for those traveling at night, which was followed by other countries later. Aside from providing light for the homes, these relatively cheap paper lanterns were also placed at homes to serve more as a status symbol for the occupants of the house. A family’s wealth was represented by the type and size of the lantern. Velvet and silk fabrics were used to create the lanterns.
In addition, they are also placed outside of the houses so that the neighbors are informed of the certain events in the lives of the occupants. If the occupants of the house are in mourning, the color of the lanterns used is white. If any member of a family is in poor health, the neighbors can see a blue lantern is placed outside. To symbolize birth or marriage, red lanterns are used by the household.
Paper lanterns were used by the royalty and peasants alike to express gratitude to their gods, to wish for a bright future and to bid their fears goodbye. People especially cast sky lanterns to pray for good harvests, to ask relief from their worries in life and to wish for a joyful marriage. They believe that when the sky lanterns float higher and longer, there is a greater chance for the gods to receive their wishes. The act of releasing the lanterns up into the sky symbolizes a release of one’s innermost desires, fears and troubles. It marks the start of your new enlightened being. Thus, this is regarded as one of the highlights in Asian weddings.
In many Asian weddings, the rituals associated with the releasing of wedding paper lanterns is one of the most awaited moments at a wedding. As this ritual is seen by many people from across the globe, many brides worldwide are also allured by the fascinating ritual and charm of the paper lanterns. Thus, brides from all parts of the globe have used paper lanterns at their wedding as well.
Launching the fairly cheap paper lanterns for weddings also represents a new meaning into the lives of the new couples, considering the fact that they have to live a new life as a couple and abandon their old way of living alone. This journey starts to unfold as they attach their own written wishes for their marriage and for their new journey in life into the paper lanterns to be released afterwards. Thus, as these paper lanterns are released to float up into the night sky, newlyweds stand in awe watching their dreams for their marriage take flight. Guests are also filled with wonder as they look at the illuminated paper lanterns float farther away from them. Regardless of the number of the lighted paper lanterns, the wonderful launching of these lanterns serves as a beautiful memory for everyone present at the event.
The launching is not only limited to the newlyweds as the guests can also do it either individually or as a group. Jumbo-sized exceptionally cheap paper lanterns are more economical and usually used where sets of guests are included in the launching ritual. They use markers to write their wishes for the new couple’s future. They can usually send off these wedding paper lanterns during the reception, as the couple leaves the chapel or departs to live a new life together. However, if it costs too much to include all the guests to the launching, some couples do it during their rehearsal dinner at the presence of their closest friends and family.