Coloured lantern is also known as festival lantern. The skin is made of paper or silk, its frame made up of bamboo or batten, and its central part arranged with a candle or light bulb. Folk artists usually make the lantern by using local bamboo, wood, rattan, wheat straw or metal as lantern frame, then covering the frame with painted or embroidered silk fabrics (sometimes the paper) and finally placing a candle in the center. However, nowadays a light bulb is most widely used instead of candle.
Coloured lantern is typically divided into the following categories: pendant lantern, floor lantern, wall lantern and hand lantern. It is an integrated artwork made of bamboo, wood, silk, pearl, jade pendant, silk tassel, feather, shell, etc. The processes involve colored tying, paperhanging, knitting, embroidering and sculpturing and then decorating it with paper-cuts, painting & calligraphy and poetry works, etc. The making process mainly includes material selection, frame making, lantern body manufacturing, light source making, paper hanging, air drying and colored painting.
Coloured lantern can be in different sizes and shapes such as human, animal and plant. It can even be made into a giant lantern. Coloured lanterns with local cultural characteristics can be seen in Shanghai, Guangdong, Zhejiang, Beijing, Hebei and many other places in China.