In memory of Kolby Adams

A silent night of softly lit lanterns

Sweet Tree Arts hosted free workshop to create solstice lanterns
Mon, 12/24/2018 - 12:00pm

    HOPE— Emulating an Asian cultural practice of lighting up paper lanterns around the winter solstice, Sweet Tree Arts led a free workshop on Saturday, Dec. 22, for a group lantern project and silent walk.

    In China, lanterns symbolize people letting go of worries from the past year and welcoming better times in the new year. In Japan, the release of sky lanterns symbolize joy, celebration, good fortune and longevity.

    And in Northern Thailand: “It is considered good luck to release a Thai lantern with the belief that misfortune will fly away with the lanterns,” according to Wish Lanterns. “The offering of lanterns is also said to symbolize knowledge with their light guiding revelers on the right path to follow in life.”

    At Sweet Tree Arts more than 40 adults and children designed simple and creative lanterns using basket reeds, giant coffee filters, glue and LED lights.

    This is second year that Sweet Tree Arts has offered the free event.

    “In each culture, the lantern means something different,” said Argy Nestor, Director of Arts Education at the Maine Arts Commission and an advisor to Sweet Tree Arts. “In the Japanese culture, people light light lanterns for others who have passed on. The light symbolizes their spirit coming back.”

    This workshop was dedicated to the memory of Kolby Adams, a Hope boy who passed away on November 28, 2018 at the age of nine.

    “We intentionally don’t teach people how to build the lanterns, so that they have freedom in their creations, but we give them the materials and support,” said Lindsay Pinchbeck, Director of Sweet Tree Arts.

    The workshop gave people enough time to build their lanterns. Once the paper lanterns were dried with a hair dryer, everyone was given an LED light.

    As dusk fell, the group came outside and in silent procession walked up the street and back. The lanterns could be kept, given away as a gift. All donations for the materials were given donations  to the Hope Chest for those in the community in need.


    Photos by Kay Stephens

    Kay Stephens can be reached at