Vesak is a celebration of the birth, enlightenment, and extinction of the Supreme Buddha. This is held on the full moon day of the month of May. This festival is one of the most visually celebrated in Sri Lanka. Colombo is the hub of Vesak, and hundreds of streets are adorned with paper and lanterns every year. Of course, you can also make your own Vesak lantern to join in the festivities, it is not difficult. Now let’s see how to make a Vesak lantern.
To make this, you will need the following.
- 25 bamboo sticks or 25 drinking straws (cut to 25 cm)
- 1 tealight candle and a piece of cardboard or light bulb
- Colored paper of different colors
- Thread or bent wire for tying
- Wire or fireproof thread for hanging
These lanterns are easy to make from drinking straws. But bamboo is traditionally used because of its ability to finish well with strength. The first thing to do, however, is to make six squares.
If you use bamboo, tie the four corners together to form your square. This should make 6 squares. If you use drinking straws, first take four of them and bend their tops at right angles (90 degrees). Then insert the short end into the long end. Then fold it into a square shape. Once the final drink tube is reached, connect it with the first drink straw to complete the square. Make 6 squares like this.
Tie the 4 corners of the four squares together to form a ring. Then take the remaining two squares and tie them at the top and bottom of the ring. Remember to tie them at all the corners and make sure to fasten them. You have now finished creating the basic shape of the lantern.
Now you have two ways to light your own Vesak lantern. You can attach it to a light bulb at home with a lighted candle or by adding a bamboo pole.
To help keep the lantern stable when hanging from a light bulb, take your last bamboo pole and tie it horizontally in the middle of your structure so that it intersects two squares. You can then mount the light bulb through this (make sure you turn off the power before hanging the lamps on any live light).
To make a base for the candle holder, cut out your cardboard to fit the shape of the bottom square of your chandelier. Then tape it down. Here make sure it does not go to the corner of the square.
Next, you need to cut out the colored paper to decorate the lanterns. Oil-paper or sawdust is best for this. Then cut four pieces of paper and eight pieces of paper into triangles to fit the parts of the structure. They should be slightly larger than single frames. If you want it to look very colorful, you can cut different colors for each section. Now apply glue to the edges of your Vesak lantern. You should start pasting this paper by starting from the squares in the middle and going around. Next, do the same for pasting on triangular shapes. No paper should be pasted on the top and bottom of the structure here. This is because it should be open to exit the candle smoke that illuminates the Vesak lantern.
Cut a small hole in the colored paper at the top to hang the lantern and wrap the wire or string you have around it.
Now you can start putting frills on this. Take a piece of colored paper to glue the Vesak lantern and fold it into the shape of a hand fan. Then stretch a strip on the right side of that shape. At intervals of a few centimeters, cut this paper into strips.
Now turn the cut paper so that the lines are horizontal. Then glue the strip along the bottom of your chandelier. Once the paste is done, unfold the strips. Now you can see how it has come down from the beautiful strips. You have now finished making your Vesak lantern. Get ready to light it.