Tuesday, July 12, 2011

It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane...It’s a Sky Lantern!

With the new release of Hangover 2, many people have been toying with the idea of releasing paper lanterns at the end of their reception, just like Stu, his new wife and all of their guest did in the movie. So where did paper lanterns come from? Well they are originally known as sky or kongming lanterns and are traditionally found in several Asian cultures. They were initially used for war in the early Chinese culture, but later were used for many celebrations and festivals. The sky lanterns were made up of oiled rice paper on a bamboo frame, and held a small candle or fuel cell composed of a waxy flammable material in the center of the lantern. Now, most lanterns are made of fire retardant, fire proof paper. Once the candle or material is set on fire the flame fills the lantern with hot air and floats into the sky. The lantern will continue to float in the sky up to a mile high, until the flame goes out. At that time the lantern will begin to fall until it reaches the ground.

For those brides who are environmentally friendly there is good news! In 2010, due to the concerns and bans throughout areas of China and Germany, all lanterns have been changed to become completely wire-free. Instead of metal, producers now use flame resistant wool which can be ingested by animals without causing any harm. Although these are a creative way to end a wedding, people still must be aware that these lanterns can still be a potential fire hazard, so it is best to not use them when there are high winds.

So, where can you find these sky lanterns?  Well there are several sites that brides can use to purchase these. They are a little pricey, but like I mentioned before, they are a fun way to end the night and the kids at your wedding will really enjoy the sight. Amazon.com has several options to choose from including a case of 14 15x25x30 lanterns for $60. Another great site is theskylantern.com because of their great specials on single lanterns.

Here are some pictures of sky lanterns that were used for weddings.

Happy Flying!!!

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