Be sure to check out how you can send me your poems on faerie folk and/or lanterns.
Previous tidbit posts: #1.
On the etymology of the word “fairy” (full article at Wikipedia):
The word fairy derives from Middle English faierie (also fayerye, feirie, fairie), a direct borrowing from Old French faerie (Modern French féerie) meaning the land, realm, or characteristic activity (i.e. enchantment) of the legendary people of folklore and romance called (in Old French) faie or fee (Modern French fée). This derived ultimately from Late Latin fata (one of the personified Fates, hence a guardian or tutelary spirit, hence a spirit in general); cf. Italian fata, Portuguese fada, Spanish hada of the same origin.
The word fey, originally meaning “fated to die” or “having forebodings of death” (hence “visionary”, “mad”, and various other derived meanings) is completely unrelated, being from Old English fæge, Proto-Germanic *faigja- and Proto-Indo-European *poikyo-, whereas Latin fata comes from the Indo-European root *bhã- “speak”. Due to the identical pronunciation of the two words, “fay” is sometimes misspelled “fey”.
The Lantern Lowdown:
On Chinese Lanterns (full article at Wikipedia):
The ancient Chinese sometimes captured fireflies in transparent or semi-transparent containers and used them as (short-term) lanterns.
On Sky Lanterns (full article Wikipedia):
The Kongming Lantern (Chinese: 孔明燈) was the first hot air balloon, said to be invented by the Chinese sage and military strategist Zhuge Liang, whose reverent term of address (i.e. Chinese style name) was Kongming. They were first deployed at the turn of the 3rd century as a type of signaling balloon or, as it’s said, as a type of spy blimp in warfare. Alternatively the name may come from the lantern’s resemblance to the hat Kongming is traditionally shown to be wearing.
According to the sinologist and historian of science Joseph Needham, the Chinese experimented with mini-hot air balloons from as early as the 3rd century BC, during the Warring States period, which suggests that the Sky Lantern may have been invented long before Kongming’s era.