It’s serendipity again that leads me from the surprise experience of Dragon dancing kites in Plymouth yesterday to home via another tradition that also has its roots very firmly in Chinese Culture.
It’s a busy time in Christian churches in December. School Carol services fill the mid-week evenings. theoldmortuary overlooks a church. Last night’s school Carol Service had a lantern lit path leading to the church.
Lanterns of the paper sort have had a rise in popularity in Europe over the last fifty years. The type that are lit with a night light and float away like a balloon had a rise in popularity and then a meteoric fall when the effects of their ultimate descent was highlighted by a series of accidents caused to property, livestock and the emerging awareness of the environmental impact.
Lanterns as part of celebrations started in China 2000 years ago, the earliest lanterns held captured Fire flies. The lantern habit soon spread to South East Asia where they continue to be popular throughout the year rather than the more European habit of winter time lantern activity.