These lanterns are single use but bring a real wow factor to any celebration. At around 50cm squared they arn't too small either. You can customise them however you want really simply with felt pens or crayon. This also makes them ideal for children although not prehaps to set off. I have seen them used at weddings, christenings and birthdays. Made from paper they are lightweight allowing them to rise into the sky from heat alone.
They are really cheap and can now be picked up at less than £1 each which is great value. They come complete with a fuel cell which when lit emits the heat to raise the lantern. The lanterns are also flame retardant which means they should be relatively safe and shouldn't set themselves on fire!
The instruction sheet which comes with these is easy to follow and has picture diagrams as well as safety guidelines. On it it also explains that the lanterns are biodegradable which makes them ok for the environment too. They will completely decompose in under 90 days.
My experience of these lanterns has been great and each time they have set off as expected (One of my concerns to start with was that they may set on fire and fly into the crowd - luckily this didn't happen). I enjoy persnalising them and writing messages on. This is especially nice for children to see.
Overall I like these and think they are a great novelty item for any celebration or to buy someone for Christmas.
Christmas, Birthdays, New Year, or even just because you want to - these lanterns are fantastic! Real converstaion straters, and they leave everybody in awe kids and adults alike!
Chinese Lanterns are traditionaly used to make wishes. They are Orantely decorated with wishes painted on them and sent up to the heavens to be granted.
I got a great offer on these Lanterns on an online store and bought 8 (yes, 8) after hearing great things about them from a family member. They arived and that night we decided to light one.
How to use -
First of all, you open the cellophane wrapper that protects the lantern. Take the lantern out but remeber to be gentle as it is made out of paper. Its folded and you can clearly see the base and top and differenciate between then so you hold the top and shake - the whole thing unfolds and you continur to gently shake air into it until it resembles a lightbulb shape. Once unfolded, turn your attention to the base and open outwards the cardboard strips to form a cross shape. Holding onto the top of the lantern, make sure your away from people or pets, and using a lighter (dont use a match it needs constant heat and a match cannot do this) set alight the cardboard cross whilst at all times holding onto the top of the lantern. Give it a few minutes, what your wainting for is the lanteren to fill up with hot air like a Hot Air Baloon, then and only then will it take off. On cold days (Like new years eve 2009) it took around 7 minutes for it to get hot enough to take off but usually takes 1-2 minutes. You will know when its ready because your arm will pull upwards as the lantern starts to lift and move. Dont worry about being burnt - as long as you hold the top of it with your arm straight up in the air you'll be fine the heat stays within the lantern thus forcing it upwards.
I find it useful to quickly let go of the lantern to see if it drifts away and if it doesnt, to grab hold of the top again and try 30 seconds later.
Once it starts to lift on its own, you'll be shocked how fast they move! they rise up and up and float usually with the wind direction and they glow a bright orange. You can see them for miles around.
There is noting more magical than sending a lantern up and watching it float to who-knows-where. I assume the fire goes out and they return to the ground at some point. I have never seen one go down as yet. We tend to stan and watch until our eyes simply cant focus on it anymor. So its safe to say, the lanterns probably last longer than the audience!