In Ningxia, lanterns light the way to a new year

By Hu Dongmei in YINCHUAN and Ye Zizhen | | Updated: 2022-01-20 14:39
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A worker is busy making lanterns for the upcoming Chinese New Year at a factory in the Ningxia Hui autonomous region. [Photo provided to]

Workers are busy making lanterns for the upcoming Chinese New Year (Jan 31) at a lantern factory in Delong county of Guyuan in the Ningxia Hui autonomous region.

Steel frameworks of lanterns are omnipresent.

"This is the fourth year for me to paper the lanterns, and this is the last procedure before completion. Three lanterns can be made in a day if all procedures are well organized," said Wang Lianxiang, a worker at the factory.

The patterns on the lantern are diverse — flying dragons over city walls, big white swans in water, figures from Chinese mythology.

Workers can earn about 200 yuan ($32) daily. Designers and welders can earn more, sometimes nearly 10,000 yuan monthly, according to the manager of the lantern company.

Li Jianping, the manager, has been making lanterns since he was 17 years old. He also makes paintings and clay sculptures. Li has been involved in the design of lanterns used in the local Spring Festival gala in Ningxia.

Delong lanterns are renowned for their elements of traditional Chinese culture, including their patterns and styling.

"Our company produces lanterns year-round, and the products are sold in foreign markets as well," Li said. "Though challenged by the pandemic, we achieved over 20 million yuan in sales volume and offered more than 200 jobs."

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