(Washington Times) The rice paper and bamboo lights are known as Kongming lanterns in China. The English refer to them as Chinese lanterns. Canadians have dubbed them high-flying fireworks.
In Maryland, they're called "a serious threat to fire and life safety."
Last week, the office of the state fire marshal reminded residents that use of the "sky lanterns" is prohibited in Maryland.
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Fire Marshal William Barnard said in a statement that the luminaires — which in recent years have become a popular way to celebrate weddings and to mark vigils — can be unpredictable and hard to control, possibly resulting in "uncontrolled fire."