Decorative paper lanterns are traditionally used for Chinese cultural celebrations and festivals such as the Lantern Festival and Chinese New Year. The history of Chinese lanterns dates back to about 2,000 years ago. However before, colorful lanterns were not used for decorative purposes but for military aid. Lanterns were first utilized during the third century as a signal as well as a spy blimp during war. During the Yuan Dynasty, Chinese lanterns were used as symbols of hope and good wishes. Sky lanterns were used in many rituals, as it is believed that it can carry messages to the gods. Paper lanterns were also used in many ceremonial practices such as weddings.
The Chinese Lantern Festival is held during the spring. Chinese people believe the Lantern Festival symbolizes the relation of people, nature, and gods which made it possible for the light of the spring to return every year. The Chinese lantern festival falls on the 15th day of the 1st month of the lunar year which is during a full moon. The Chinese Lantern Festival is called “yuan xiao jie” in Chinese. During this festival, there are thousands of colorful lanterns hung out for people to appreciate. People will try to solve the riddles that are written on the lanterns and eat tang yuan (glutinous rice ball filled with sesame or peanut paste) and get all their families together to celebrate this festive occasion.