Lightweight & Airy Style: The Appeal of “Paper Lanterns”

Celebrations With Airy Style:  The Appeal Of  Paper Lanterns
Celebrations With Airy Style: The Appeal Of Paper Lanterns

The appeal of lightweight style. The airy paper lantern. Although found in almost every imaginable shape and size of airy delight, it is the simplistic, round paper lantern that my attention falls upon. Alas, truth be told, it is the elegance of the pure white delight of a white paper lantern that truly delights me with its simplicity. But oh, the additions of the lovely rainbow of vibrant, pastel and muted colors! Certainly limitless is adorning spaces or events. Although perhaps more of a temporary decoration due to its delicate nature, these round paper lanterns are sure to coordinate with any themed event or style preferences. Perhaps it is the temporariness of the lantern itself that strikes us. A temporary luxury of lofty style. Paper lanterns seem to provide a defining elegance of simplicity. And of the paper lantern lighting that creates a warm, soft glow? Quite a sight to behold when massed together and illuminated. Aglow with style. Stunning evening decor worthy of any celebration, indeed…

The history of creating lanterns began in China in 230 BC. Initially the lanterns, first referred to as “Sky Lanterns” or “Sky Candles”, were not used for decorative purposes but rather for military aid purposes as a “communication medium on the battlefield”. Who knew? The lantern has since evolved as an key accessory for not only Asian cultural practices, celebrations and festivals (such as the “New Year”, “Mid Autumnal Festival” and the “Lantern Festival”/Yuen Siu Festival) but have also been held as symbols of joy, hope, fortune, good wishes and longevity. Historically, airborne paper lanterns, released into the night sky for aesthetic effect carried with them the belief that they would carry messages to the gods. Again, who knew? In fact, these lanterns were hung inside and around homes to ward off evil spirits. Lofty responsibility for these lanterns of atmospheric style. In ancient times, these hanging lanterns were often plain and simple. Yet during the Tang Dynasty (A.D. 618 to A.D. 907) an emperor is said to have commissioned the construction of 30 enormous lantern towers, each 1,500 feet high. Imagine! Said to have been bedecked with jade and jems, the replication of such elaborate lanterns would prove difficult to the people, thus the lantern tradition eventually took hold in the form of transparent paper on thin silk. And of the lantern that preceded the lightweight paper lantern? During the 16th and 17th century, merchant ships from America and Europe brought silk to the Far East, enabling the rise of the silk hanging lantern. Perhaps, in time, the cost of silk brought forth the embellishment of tough paper that covered the frames of collapsible bamboo or metal frame hoops. Of note, in China, paper lanterns are classified into distinctive classes. Of the classic, round mid-sized lantern that beckons me, it is classified as the “Tomato Light” or “Big Red”. Indeed, perhaps the distinction of the red, bold lantern is eternally linked to the Asian world. For the global world, however, the Chinese paper lantern as decoration is enduring, no matter the color…

The "Tomato Light" ("Big Red") Lantern
The “Tomato Light” (“Big Red”) Lantern
Distinctive & Bright Embellishment:  Paper Lanterns
Distinctive & Bright Embellishment: Paper Lanterns
The Lightweight Ambiance Of Paper Lanterns
The Lightweight Ambiance Of Paper Lanterns
Global Accompaniment Of Decorative Style:  The Simple Elegance Of The Paper Lantern
Global Accompaniment Of Decorative Style: The Simple Elegance Of The Paper Lantern

Of course, a nod to the stylized and decorative paper lantern, which deserves its own appreciation in history and interior decor…

Stylized & Decorative "Paper Lanterns"
Stylized & Decorative “Paper Lanterns”
Interior Embellishment:  Paper Lantern Style
Interior Embellishment: Paper Lantern Style
Classic White In Airy Delight:  The Charm Of The Paper Lantern
Classic White In Airy Delight: The Charm Of The Paper Lantern

Consider the embellishment of ambiance with the paper lantern. Illuminated by lit lanterns, an event becomes magical and light. Included within the interior? Lightweight style and perhaps unexpected whimsy. For certain, paper lanterns are a unique and unexpected decoration in an interior setting that will certainly liven a space with interest. A visual expression that is elegant and simplistic but presents an impactful style. Appealing and airy style. Airy delight of lofty style, indeed…

Kristin

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8 thoughts on “Lightweight & Airy Style: The Appeal of “Paper Lanterns”

  1. Pingback: Le blog de Marie
  2. Living in Asia, I am always in aahh when I see lanterns – love the traditional white ones they use in Thailand … you light the candle and the hot air brings them to life and they float into the sky – just beautiful to watch ! Great blog !!

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