China, the Home of Papermaking, and Its Tradition of Paper Lanterns

Papermaking, which originated in China, led to the creation of the paper lantern, which dates back to the Han Dynasty.

Whether in the Chinese mainland or in Chinese diasporas around the globe, paper lanterns are displayed during around one’s home, temples, and clan associations during traditional celebrations like Chinese New Year and the Mid-Autumn Festival.

Traditional paper lanterns are made with bamboo frames and oil-coated silk paper. A lantern’s durability and sturdiness heavily depend on the latter, as its frame must have splints that are thin, strong, and tightly bound.

Due to the labor-intensive and time-consuming nature of the craft, paper lantern-making has lost its appeal among younger generations, resulting in only a few craftsmen today.

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