China / Beijing

LanternA ~ Z

Introducing the Lantern (Deng Long)

Started from the East Han Dynasty (25 A.D. -220 A.D.), Chinese Lantern reached its peak during Tang Dynasty (618 A.D. - 907 A.D.) and Song (960 A.D. -1279 A.D.) Dynasties. Originally, Chinese people hung lanterns in front of their doors to drive away evil spirits. As to today, the lantern has become a symbol of traditional Chinese culture, playing an important role in celebrations and ceremonies. Four of the most famous styles of lanterns come from the capital Beijing in North China, and Suzhou in East China. The best traditional Beijing palace lanterns require rosewood as the skeleton and traditional-patterned thin silk or glass as covering. Besides lighting function, the palace lanterns are also valuable collections of Chinese lantern collectors. Now they are hung in halls or other spacious rooms to add to the antique atmosphere. In contrast with Beijing palace lanterns, Suzhou-style lanterns usually have a rustic flavor. They boast a time-honored history and a delicate beauty. Early in the Song Dynasty, lanterns developed into an individual crafts industry in the area. Suzhou lanterns have various appearances, ranging from bird, flower, and fish to pavilion, terrace, tower and even human figures. Suzhou lanterns are famous for their rich color, refined processing, ingenious structure, exquisite sculpture and grand magnificence.

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