fragrant sachet

W60xL370mm, China

Tomorrow is the Duan Wu festival, the 5th day of lunar May, before Qu Yuan and the dragon boats came along it was a day for casting away the deadly famine.  In ancient times when science and hygiene was poor, it is believed that lunar May is the month of toxin and the 5th is the day of  evil and on this combination the day of death.  To avoid ailment one is to be purified by bathing and resisted on meat, alcohol and sexual activities.  A fragrant sachet would be worn by people all ages, the contents of the bag changes through time as hygiene improves and the taboo of the day of death becomes more remote, from the evil busting copper coins to the pesticide realgar powder, to the antiperspirant clam  powder to medicinal fragrant herbs.  From patchwork, the sachet was later decorated with embroidery; this particular on has on it a lotus and a lizard, lotus symbolizes togetherness with the lizard (one of the 5 poisonous creatures) offering it protection.

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