Monday, August 24, 2009

The Appearances of Paper Lanterns

Paper lanterns have their variety of appearances as well. They are often white, but they also are made in many different colors with many different designs. One of the most common designs for paper lanterns is Chinese characters, Japanese kanji, or Korean hanja. Oriental paintings are more common than Western art, and some popular images are cherry blossom branches, birds, or bamboo. Despite the prevalence of Oriental themes, there are paper lanterns available which incorporate many modern or Western themes as well. Paper lanterns are even made by children in primary or elementary schools, and the children are allowed to express their personality by decorating their own lanterns.

Flame-lit Paper Lanterns

Flame-lit lanterns are paper lanterns that use a candle to provide light. They are usually found outside, but sometimes they are found inside. They often find homes in gardens or in backyards where people gather. They provide excellent sources of light for night time dinners. These lanterns pose more of a safety risk than do electrically-lit lanterns because of their open flame. So, extra caution must be taken to place the lanterns out of easy reach; it is best to put them away to avoid accidentally hitting them, consequently catching the paper on fire. These are the most traditional types of paper lanterns, as they were around long before electricity.

Electrically-lit Paper Lanterns

The most common lantern today is the electrically-lit paper lantern. It uses a light bulb and a long, electrical cord with a socket at the end. These lanterns also go by other names, such as “hanging paper lanterns” or the more simple “hanging lanterns.” The cords usually come in lengths of ten to fifteen feet, but you can get other sizes if necessary. Sixty watts is the common maximum, but higher wattage cords are available as well. For temporary sources of light, these lanterns are plugged into an outlet, run up a wall, and hanged from the ceiling by hooks. For permanent sources of light, they are usually wired through the walls and ceiling to avoid a tacky appearance.

Simple Paper Lanterns

Paper lanterns are made in a variety of shapes and sizes, and they are made for different uses. The simplest type of paper lantern is just a bag with a candle in it. This type of lantern is often seen on porches and driveways during Halloween. It is also seen lining the same areas during Christmas time in Spain. This type of paper lantern is particularly dangerous, because it is easily knocked over; this can start a fire. They are not safe around small children, because there is an open flame inside, so children can be easily burnt if they touch the candles.

An Overview of Paper Lanterns

Paper lanterns are made from some type of paper, a lighting source, and usually, but not always, an expander of some kind. They are a type of lantern; thus, they are either lit from a bulb or flame. The Chinese and Japanese have used them for many years for many kinds of lighting. They have used them as simply light sources, but also use them during festivals. The Chinese have five categories of lanterns which vary based upon shape, size, and use. The Spanish have used paper lanterns made out of white bags and candles as decorations during Christmas time for many years.