March to light up with lantern classes

School children and Manawatu folk have the chance to build lanterns – some for the annual Festival of Cultures – in city-funded workshops next month.

Rangiwahia Environmental Arts Centre Trust has a $7000 grant from the Palmerston North City Council's local initiatives fund to teach lantern making.

Lantern makers Junk and Disorderly will run 10 workshops.

"We'd like applications from schools who would like their students to join in," said Junk and Disorderly's Jim Richards.

"We've got places for five schools, and we'll show children how to make a variety of lanterns."

The other five workshops will be open to the community.

The Downtown shopping centre has given the group use of an empty shop that fronts on Broadway Ave, so people can drop in and spend as much time as they wish creating a lantern.

Firmed-up dates for these workshops are March 10, March 17 and March 18.

Dates for the other seven workshops will be set by schools' availability.

"Lanterns have a long history in many cultures," Mr Richards said.

"During the month, we'll have lantern makers from Sri Lanka, from China, from Canada and other places showing what's done in those countries.

"We'll use some of the lanterns that are made for the International Festival of Cultures, in March." Mr Richards said.

The lanterns will be made of tissue over willow wood, will be as simple or elaborate as the creators wish, and will be lit by small torches.

Manawatu Standard