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Ascension Day is the day Christians celebrate Jesus’ ascension into heaven after being resurrected. Various denominations have different views on what exactly the ascension is but the general premise is that Jesus was resurrected and then spent time on earth before ascending into heaven to sit at the right hand of God. Traditionally, Chinese lanterns were used as a means of prayer. The belief was that the lanterns would float into the sky to be closer to the heavens and the gods would have a better chance of hearing and thus answering the prayer. For Ascension Day, the same type of tradition can be used to celebrate a Christian holiday.

Ancient Prayer Uses for Chinese Lanterns

A long time ago Chinese lanterns were used as a form of prayer. Farmers who wanted to have an abundant crop, families who wanted to conceive and people who wanted added prosperity all used Chinese lanterns to send a prayer to the gods. They would go into a field, pray for whatever it is they wanted then launch the sky lanterns. They would use traditional sky lanterns such as the ones found at They would watch it float into the sky as a means of reflection and calm, hoping the Chinese lanterns would drift closer to the ear of the gods. Christians celebrating Ascension Day can take the same idea and use it to send a prayer also.

Modern Day Prayer Uses for Chinese Lanterns

For Ascension Day, Christians can use the same idea but alter it slightly to suit the holiday. As Ascension Day signifies the ascent of Jesus to Heaven, you can use the Chinese lanterns as a symbol of the ascent. You can also send up a prayer while launching or simply reflect on it in a serene manner as you watch the Chinese Hanging Lanterns float through the sky. You can even use a sharpie marker to write a special prayer before lighting and launching them. A family can each have a sky lantern of their own and personalize it how they want. They can be launched one at a time so you can watch them drift in the sky. This is a great way to take a time honoured tradition and modernize it to suit another function.

Make the Tradition your Own

Whether having a group Chinese lantern launch at a place of worship or simply setting them off as a family, make the lantern launching tradition your own. Of course, you can personalize the lanterns with your own special message or prayer. This is a great way to make it your own. But you can also move from the traditional Chinese lanterns to coloured ones such as the ones found at Or instead of launching individual lanterns you can each write a special message or prayer on a giant Chinese lantern and set a single one off in the air.

Whatever way you choose to celebrate the holiday, make Chinese lanterns a part of it. You can create a new tradition and symbolize the ascent into heaven with the ascending Chinese lanterns. This is a great way to celebrate Ascension Day.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, May 13th, 2010 at 1:51 PM and is filed under General News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


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