A few years ago, I was teaching a photography workshop in Beynac, France and it took place over Bastille Day. The locals all told us to head to an adjacent village that stood on the top of a hill that night for a fireworks display.
As we arrived at the bottom of the hill all the people in the town were handing out paper lanterns wired to wooden dowels with candles glowing inside to the children. Trails of light wound up the main road as the children carried the lanterns up the hill to watch the fireworks. The only way to describe it was magical.
These are what the lanterns really look like. I found this image on the blog: Trail of Crumbs.
We decided it would be fun to create our own lanterns for an evening Bastille Day walk but couldn’t source any that looked like the original, plus we weren’t sure how happy most parents would be with paper lanterns and burning candles! We found these battery operated lanterns at World Market.
They are a different shape and quite plain but with a little work they can be a fun craft project to do with the kids.
The plastic caps come off on the top and we covered ours with a 1 inch strip of gold glitter paper. Then we painted “Oh La La” on one lantern in cursive and covered the other in gold polka dots. Really you could add ribbon, paint them or dye them any color you want.
Then we added them to dowels we bought at Hobby Lobby and tied them on using gold bakers twine.
We took the lanterns on an evening walk and all the kids loved them. All of the magic none of the safety issues. Throw in a quick history lesson on France and Bastille Day and you can get art, exercise, world culture and family time all in one night!