It is not known which civilization invented the lantern first, but the Greeks, Egyptians and Chinese all used lanterns for festive occasions. In China, lanterns were made from paper, silk or animal hide and put together with wood and bamboo.
Lanterns used in Chinese festivals were more decorative in nature and came in varying shapes and sizes. For the lunar New Year celebration, lanterns were lit to mark the last day. It was also not uncommon to see lanterns floating in the sky. In addition to being used in festivals, lanterns also acted as a light source at night. The old style of lantern lit with candles is less popular, as electronic lanterns are safer and easier to transport.