About the Lotus Lantern & Luminaria Project

The Lotus Lantern and Luminaria Project is an initiative to bring the glow of lanterns to our Bloomington community, as the days shorten and the nights get longer. To celebrate lantern traditions from around the world, Lotus is working with a few lantern artists to create templates for building lanterns that can be used decoratively in homes and businesses, or on walks, to light the way.

The project is designed to be welcoming and inclusive by focusing on lantern customs that represent several different world traditions. Lotus will supply the materials and will hold workshops that will allow physically-distanced participation.

We’ll have three separate designs:

  • A Korean inspired paper basket lantern (designed by Shelley Hanmo Qian of JunoniaArts) with a Lotus charm and origami cicada (optional) that holds a tealight. This design can be made with colored paper, scissors, tape, string, lotus charm, and origami cicada (design by community member Marlen Rust).

  • A Chinese lantern (designed by Shelley Hanmo Qian of JunoniaArts), using construction paper, stapler, string, hole punch, and scissors.

  • Luminaria, based on Mexico/Southwest US border regions designs, using recycled paper.

In November 2021, we’ll focus on workshops to willing participants and on building lanterns together via in-person physically-distanced workshops. Sign up on Eventbrite for our free workshops.

Every celebration needs its songs to go with it. The community song portion of our Lotus Lantern Walk will be led by trained song leaders so everyone can easily follow along with the music. Singing during the lantern walk will be done with masks on, as required for safety. We hope to have a couple of different groups involved in learning these tunes.

On November 19th at 6 p.m., we’ll host the 2nd annual Lotus Lantern Walk. People who have built a lantern will be invited on a walk that begins at the Lotus Firebay (105 S Rogers Street). Participants can pick up a free LED tea light candle or use our battery operated twinkle lights that must be returned to Lotus at the end of the walk. From the Lotus Firebay, we’ll head to the B-line, and continue to the Showers Plaza. We’ll circle around, physically distancing and masked, and stop to sing a couple of lantern songs. We’ll then head back to the Lotus Firebay doors for some hot chocolate to be served in individual, covered cups. *Event subject to change, based on current COVID-19 health guidelines at the time.

On December 10th, between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., businesses and homes in our community will be invited to display their lanterns in their windows, to celebrate art and shed a light on tradition and important needs and causes.

Online instructions for the Chinese lantern, Korean lantern, and the Luminaria are available to those unable to attend in-person workshops by request to amanda@lotusfest.org.

Businesses and organizations willing to participate by displaying a lantern may contact Nicole Vasconi at nicole@lotusfest.org.


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