Doubtless you have read of the famous Feast in China, call'd The Feast of the Lanthorns. It is always celebrated on the 15th Day of the first Month. There is no Chinese so poor, but that upon this Day he lights up his Lanthorn. They have of them of all sorts of Figures, Sizes, and Prices. On that Day, all China is illuminated: but the finest Illuminations of all are in the Emperor's Palaces; and particularly in these Pleasure-grounds, which I have been describing to you. There is not a Chamber, Hall, or Portico, in them, which has not several of these Lanthorns hanging from the Cielings. There are several upon all the Rivulets, Rivers, and Lakes; made in the Shape of little Boats, which the Waters carry backward and forward. There are some upon all the Hills and Bridges, and almost upon all the Trees. These are wrought mighty prettily, in the Shapes of different Fishes, Birds, and Beasts; Vases, Fruits, Flowers, and Boats of different Sorts and Sizes. Some are made of Silk; some of Horn, Glass, Mother of Pearl, and a thousand other Materials. Some of them are painted; others embroider'd; and of very different Prices. I have seen some of them which could never have been made for a thousand Crowns. It would be an endless thing, to endeavour to give you a particular Account of all their Forms, Materials, and Ornaments. It is in these, and in the great Variety which the Chinese shew in their Buildings, that I admire the Fruitfulness of their Invention; and am almost tempted to own, that we are quite poor and barren in Comparison of them.
Jean Denis Attiret, A Particular Account OF THE Emperor of CHINA'S GARDENS Near PEKIN, 1743