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They anger farmers, concern coastguards and are often mistaken for UFOs – but Chinese lanterns are flying off the shelves and into the skies above the West Midlands as their popularity soars. Major stores in the region reported selling hundreds of the lanterns a day in the run-up to New Year, Christmas and Bonfire Night while they are also being released regularly at weddings and even funerals. The lights, like mini hot air balloons composed of flame, paper and wire, can travel 30 miles. Discount giant Poundland said today it had sold tens of thousands of the lanterns in the run-up to the festive period. John Sheppard, manager of the branch in Wolverhampton’s Mander Centre, said: “There is huge demand as soon as they come into stock, we were selling literally hundreds a day.
In 2008, the Doncaster-based firm sold 29,000 Chinese lanterns, rising to 100,000 last year, with sales peaking in July.
Post by Swills
Oh well, time to focus on video # 2, which definitely aren't lanterns