A History Of Paper Star Lights

Our Starlight Lanterns are hand-made in India. To identify their beginnings is difficult, as paper stars appear to be a folk tradition, impossible to pin down in time and transcending cultures. What we do know, however, is that each Starlight Lantern has its origin in joyful celebration and festivity.

Across India paper stars are used to decorate homes for the Hindu festival of Diwali, a celebration of Light. For Christian communities in the subcontinent, they are also a very visual part of Christmas, as they are now across the UK and Europe.

Paper stars appear to have entered the folk tradition of a variety of countries and cultures, spread over wide geographical distances. In Scandinavia and Germany, a paper star is hung in the window at Christmas time and the Moravian congregations of Germany have been known to hang a 110-pointed star outside their church building for Advent.

Over the years many of our customers have told us of star lights existing way back - in Ireland prior to the Second World War, Turkish stars, Egyptian stars, stars from China, Nepal and Laos.

As the nights get longer and winter approaches, we meet the darkness with celebrations of light. We carve pumpkins, we parade lanterns, we let off fireworks - we greet the gloaming with a show of light, a burst of festivity - and a bright shining star.

Starlight Lanterns hit the European festival and outdoor party scene in the mid-nineties, when on-the-road festival traders started bringing them back from India. Revellers were transfixed by the amazing displays of light and colour by the stars and were amazed they could take one home with them (flat-packed and stuffed inside their rucksacks).

These (usually 5-pointed) designs were mainly indigenous to the Indian market and often made in bright pink and bright yellow card, featuring classic Hindu designs, such as 'Peacock', 'Om' and 'Ganesh'. Stars produced for the indigenous Christmas market featured an elongated lower point containing 3-D fold-out representations of the Nativity. These are now extremely rare - and we want one!

Starlight Lanterns are now available in many shapes, sizes and geometric forms in a variety of designs and colours. This site showcases what we believe to be the best, including exclusive new designs never seen before.