The Red Lanterns
The Red Lanterns
Symbolize divine light emanating outward to the world to dispel evil and darkness.
The lighting of paper lanterns has since become a regular part of all Chinese celebrations -- sometimes the lanterns are set adrift on water or launched into the air like helium balloons -- and this festive art has been passed to Japan, Korea, and Southeast Asia. There are five distinct classes of Chinese lanterns, including the Tomato Light or Big Red lantern, which is the classic round mid-sized version.
Between 1899 and 1901, there was an anti-imperialist, anti-foreign uprising in China called the Boxer Rebellion (because the Europeans called martial arts “Chinese boxing”). The opportunity to fight back against Western encroachment and colonization was very appealing to unemployed village men, many of whom were teenagers.
Village women formed their own fighting units: Red Lanterns (young women ages 12-18), Blue Lanterns (middle-aged women) and Black Lanterns (elderly women). The young Red Lanterns were dressed completely in red, from hats to shoes, and each carried a red fan and a red lantern. These young women became legendary and were said to possess supernatural powers: they could fly, walk on water, stop bullets, throw knives and swords with deadly accuracy, and even stand perfectly still while sending their souls into battle.
Red Lanterns in Chinese culture symbolize joy, good fortune, vitality, longevity, protection from evil, and celebration, so hanging red lanterns is an important part of Chinese New Year, weddings, and all festivals. Our beautiful OHM Red Lantern embodies all of these positive qualities in a delicate flower petal shell hung from a cherry blossom branch. The light within is provided by a dazzling glass orb that catches the fire of brilliant sunlight as it moves and sways from your bracelet.
In addition to its properties of good luck and good health, our Red Lantern bead is also a celebration of those brave young women who leaned into the challenge of their time and became legends of female empowerment, action, skill, and opportunity. They didn’t just support the boys behind the lines; they seized the moment to lead the fight, waving their red lanterns and taking flight.
Wear this bead proudly to remind you of your own strength and skill and to spark your courage to persevere and push through any obstacle.