Display highlights skill of lantern maker
Rabbit lanterns are a traditional toy and decoration for the Lantern Festival.
However, hand-made rabbit lanterns, as well as their makers, are becoming rare.
Li Jianguo, a now retired electrician, has been making rabbit lanterns for 47 years. The skills were passed down from his grandfather's generation.
It usually takes a day or more than 10 hours to make a rabbit lantern by hand. Li and his wife took up the practice as a hobby and out of interest.
The couple only make about 700 rabbit lanterns a year, hardly enough to make them rich.
Compared with product line lanterns, the hand-made rabbit lanterns are exquisite and sturdy.
Li said very few people are willing to learn the skill now, though some schools have invited him to demonstrate the art.
To celebrate this year's Lantern Festival, Li was invited to set up a booth at The INLET in Hongkou District to display his hand-made lanterns. The booth was popular with visitors, who showed respect to the couple's passion for the traditional skill.
Li's hand-made lanterns can be lit up both by candles and by bulbs.
He was commissioned by The INLET to make a giant rabbit lantern as part of the celebration this year. The 1.65-meter lantern took the couple two months to finish.
The Lantern Festival marks the final day of the Chinese New Year celebrations.
Lantern Festival activities at The INLET include a lantern exhibition, a book and cultural production fair, as well as lane games and traditional new year activities like writing Spring Festival couplets and poem reciting.