The meaning behind the Chinese lantern does vary slightly according to the traditions associated with different events at which a Chinese lantern might be used. In the New Year celebrations, for example, the lanterns are considered to bring prosperity and good luck for those people who release them, as well as to represent an individual's problems, worries and concerns floating away into the night.
May the New Year 2014, bring you prosperity and good luck. May the problems, worries and concerns of the Old Year drift away.
Have a Safe and Happy New Year!