The Lantern Festival is a creative participatory project. Hundreds of people construct bamboo and tissue paper lanterns each year. Boxes are our basic learning lanterns. More advanced learning lanterns are the ever-popular stars, which build three-dimensional skills that benefit from the tensile strength of the bamboo and the papering prowess of the creator. Hooked on these foundational lanterns, volunteers and workshop participants begin to develop a creative eye for new structures, specialized adaptations and better effects each year. New lantern builders absorb the know-how of past lantern-builders, and design innovations become design traditions.
A wonderful side-effect of the participatory nature of the festival is that community participants bring us artistic surprises every year. People are invited to come in costume and/or character and they do – with or without a lantern to bear.