Creating and decorating lanterns bathed in light is a Chinese and South Asian tradition dating back to 230 B.C. The act of creating a lantern, burying a light in its belly and letting it float among the stars is said to be a ritual in Chinese culture and is done during the Chinese Lantern Festival. The festival occurs each year on the 15th day of the first lunar month, usually right before the Chinese New Year’s celebrations. For centuries people have been creating, mostly paper lanterns, decorating them with puzzles for children to master and then lighting them and watching them float into the air. As the years have gone by the lanterns have gotten more intricate and sophisticated. In the 6th Century A.D. Chinese Emperor Yangdi ruling during the Sui Dynasty would invite envoys from all over Asia to see the colorful lanterns and enjoy beautiful Chinese artistic performances. In the 7th Century A.D. the festival would last three days with royalty and peasant alike enjoying the festivities. Today The Chinese Lantern Festival has spread beyond Asia to the shores of Europe and finally, last year, to the United States. Enjoy the festival and know that you’re a part of a rich, ancient and joyous tradition.