Thousand-Corner Lantern

city fact

The Thousand-Corner Lantern Festival is Dongguan’s unique handcraft fair, which has been listed in the National Non-intangible Cultural Heritage list since 2006. During the Spring Festival, lanterns are lit for newborn boys in Dongguan villages, and concludes with ceremonies and banquets.

The elaborate Thousand-Corner Lantern originates from the Song Imperial Family (960-1279), who once fled to Dongguan. This special lantern is based on traditional types, but built much larger and more complicated, symbolizing an extended family line. Several traditional crafts—painting, paper cutting and embroidery—combine to make huge octagonal lanterns, embedded with plenty of small triangles and hanging lamps. Chinese say they have 1,000 corners and 1,000 lamps. Nowadays, the technique is disappearing and only one old man, Zhang Shuqi, still knows the processes.

In 2015, Zhang’s lantern was exhibited at the United Nations HQ in NYC. Since last year, a class has run every year at the Civil Art Center to pass down the knowledge of making this disappearing treasure.

Category City Facts