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Sky lanterns, also known as Kongming Lantern or Chinese lanterns are airborne paper lanterns that are best known as a tradition found in some Asian cultures. They contain a small candle or fuel cell composed of a waxy flammable material. When lit, the flame heats the air inside the lantern, thus lowering its density causing the lantern to rise into the air. The sky lantern is only airborne for as long as the flame stays alight, after which the lantern sinks back to the ground.
Sky lanterns are also referred to as sky candles or fire balloons, however the latter term is also used to refer to balloon munitions used during World War II.
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