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Chinese Lanterns & Their Use Today in the Gardens Of The World.

When talking about the custom of outdoor celebration, the Chinese lantern is a symbol from an ancient culture that we still find beautiful and desirable in our outdoor spaces today.

The use of decorative Chinese lanterns has been traced back as far as the Han dynasty (207 B.C. - 220 A.D.). Today, the tradition and practice of using Chinese lanterns as garden lighting solutions is alive and well thanks to popular interest in outdoor entertaining and garden decorating.

Traditionally, Chinese lanterns sport a solid utilitarian design. Wood, bamboo or metal frames are covered with painted paper or colored silk, and then lighted on the inside with a candle or oil lamp. During festivals, children would carry tiny glowing lanterns in the darkness symbolizing illumination, pleasure and celebration.

Chinese lantern styles are offered by most decorative garden lighting manufacturers. You can find medium-size table-top styles as well as larger hanging styles, meant to be suspended from trees, posts or arbors. Strings of mini lanterns are ideal for lighting railings or pathways in your garden. Candles and tealights are most often the light source, which poses a safety concern especially if children are about. However, you can find styles that are AC powered and be plugged in.

For more information on lighting your outdoors, please read this article on Chinese and silk lanterns.

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