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Paper Lanterns for the Chinese New Year
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paper lanterns

On the 15th day of the first lunar month, the end of the Chinese New Year is celebrated with a lantern festival. People throughout China and other parts of Asia celebrate the Lantern Festival by enjoying great food such as a rice dumpling called yuanxiao, watching lion dances and other preformances, as well as taking in the diplay of lanterns in the street. Some of the lanterns even have riddles on them, and a prize is given to the person who guesses correctly.

Children also participate in the Lantern Festival by carrying paper lanterns of their own. You can participate in the Lantern Festival by creating your very own lantern. Follow the simple instructions below to get started!


  • paper
  • scissors
  • pencil
  • decorations (stickers, crayons, glitter, paint)
  • tape or a stapler
  • ruler (optional)



1. Measure 1 inch from the short end of the paper and cut it off. This will serve as the lantern handle. Fold the remaining paper in hafl.

2. Measure another 1 inch line at the cut end of the paper (opposite the folded end) and mark it with your pencil. This line signifies where you stop cutting in step 3.

3. Measure and draw lines approximately 1 inch apart, starting at the folded edge and ending at the “stop cutting” line. Cut the lines, ending at the “stop cutting” line.

4. Unfold the paper and re-crease it in the opposite direction. The pencil marks will now be on the inside.

5. Lay the unmarked side facing up and decorate as you please.

6. Shape the lantern by securing the long ends with tape or staples.

7. Secure the handle on top with tape or staples.

8. Write riddles directly on the lantern or use small pieces of paper that can be secured to the lantern.

Hang the lanterns with string from your ceiling or tie them to the end of sticks for kids to (carefully) carry around. Enjoy all year round by decorating your next party with colorful lanterns, and keep them in mind for a fun rainy day project.

For more fun projects, click the link below!