China and the Glow Lanterns

If there is one civilization that can lay claim to the invention of the modern day Glow Lantern, it is the Chinese. According to the sinologist and historian of science Joseph Needham, the Chinese experimented with small hot air balloons for signaling from as early as the 3rd century BC, during the Warring States period.

raditionally, however, their invention is attributed to the sage and military strategist Zhuge Liang (181–234 AD)[1] whose reverent term of address was Kongming. He is said to have used a message written on a Glow Lantern to summon help on an occasion when he was surrounded by enemy troops. For this reason they are still known in China as Kongming lanterns


In ancient China, Glow Lanterns were strategically used in wars. However later on, non-military applications were employed as they became popular with children at festivals. These lanterns were subsequently incorporated into festivals like the Chinese Mid-Autumn and Lantern Festivals, which are still popular to this day.

Of course, it didn’t take too long for the art to spread its wings around the globe, and today even you and I can fire up one of these delightful specks of fire and light at will. When are you having a go next? 🙂

Whether you love to flare up a Glow Lantern for history’s sake or just some weekend inspiration, we have just the hue and kind you need. Head over to to place an order for your fair share this season!


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