Wedding Sky Lanterns

sky lanternThe concept of releasing sky lanterns can be traced back nearly two thousand years to China where the tradition originates. At first sky lanterns were used as a signalling tool by the military as the glow from the lanterns could be seen for miles.

Through the centuries, the practice of releasing sky lanterns gradually became a way of celebrating festivals and ceremonies across the Far East and is now a popular addition (or alternative) to a fireworks display.

What are Sky Lanterns and how do they Work?

Sky lanterns are a small hot air balloon made from non-flammable tissue paper, a bamboo rim and a thin wire supporting a wick made from wax coated cloth. They are sold flat packed and once they have been opened and the wick lit with a match or cigarette lighter, the heat generated from the flame fills the sky lantern with hot air. After approximately 30 seconds the sky lantern has enough hot air to rise into the sky.

A sky lantern will rise to a height of approximately 1,000 feet (300 metres) and remain lit for over five minutes. During this time the sky lantern may travel up to two miles depending on the wind speed. Once the wick has burnt out, the hot air inside the lantern gradually cools down and the unlit sky lantern falls gently and safely to the ground. As they are made from bio-degradeable materials, the sky lanterns do not harm the environment.

Are Sky Lanterns Safe?

Sky lanterns are perfectly safe. The tissue paper is non-flammable and providing that you follow a few straightforward rules you will have enormous fun with them:

  • They should not be released in more than 5 mph of wind - if the wind is too strong the hot air can be blown out of the sky lantern causing the lantern to fall rather than rise in the sky.
  • They should not be released near a main road or within 2 miles of an operational air strip.
  • A minimum of two people should hold each sky lantern whilst a third person lights the wick.
  • As the product produces a naked flame, sky lanterns should not be released by children or the elderly (or people that have had too much to drink!)

Can I Release Sky Lanterns at my Wedding?

Many websites and shops are now selling boxes of sky lanterns to enable you to release them at your wedding or even give them as wedding favours so all your guests can enjoy them and release them at the same time. Some sky lantern boxes contain a pen so that your guests can write a special message to you on each sky lantern before it is released.

Alternatively, you can appoint a professional sky lantern display company to perform a breathtaking sky lantern release at your wedding reception for you and your guests to enjoy. The major benefit of a professional display is that it enables you to relax with your guests whilst a professional (and fully insured) sky lantern display company releases anywhere from 60 to 250 sky lanterns into the air.

In addition, with the recent ban on firework rockets and many venues across the country imposing strict restrictions on noise, sky lanterns are the perfect, safe alternative to a fireworks display that can provide a finale to your big day that you and your guests will remember for ever!