Read It, Make It: Playing With Lanterns by Wang Yage, Illustrated by Zhu Chengliang

Lunar New Year falls on February 1 this year. One of the many traditions associated with the celebration of the “New Year” is the making and displaying of paper lanterns. Playing with Lanterns by Wang Yage describes this tradition in great detail from start to finish including the time to “smash the lanterns” on the fifteenth and last day of the New Year celebrations. After learning about Lunar New Year lanterns, make your own for your Lunar New Year celebrations!

Cover image for Playing with lanterns

Other books on paper lanterns:

Cover image for Lanterns and firecrackers : a Chinese New Year story
Cover image for Chinese New Year crafts
Cover image for Celebrate Chinese New Year

Lunar New Year Lanterns


  • Colored construction paper
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Glue/tape or stapler
  • Colored tissue paper (optional) – used to imitate candle flame inside lantern
  • Stickers, crayons, markers, gems etc. (optional)


  1. Start with a rectangular sheet of paper. Cut a strip of paper from the long edge of the paper (about 1″ width). This will make your handle.
  2. Fold the paper in half lengthwise (hot dog fold). With a ruler, draw a line 1 inch from the open end. Cut 1 inch strips from the folded edge towards line just drawn.
  3. Unfold the paper.
  4. Loop the paper around to form a tube. Secure with tape, glue or stapler.
  5. Tape, glue or staple on the handle made in step 1.
  6. Decorate as desired.