Archives for posts with tag: yuan xiao

clay toyW100xD80xH150, China

 Today, the 14th Feburary and the 15th day of the Chinese New Year is the meeting of St. Valentine’s day of the Gregorian calendar and the Yuan Xiao (Chinese Valentine’s day) of the lunar calendar.  While there is gift, flower, kissing on St. Valentine’s day, Yuan Xiao is a more subtle affair.  In the past in China, girls are kept at home, out from the sight of the suitors.  On Yuan Xiao, for the final celebration of the Chinese New Year festivity, there will be lantern festival in town, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls are free to attend.  Almost like a high school party, romantic encountering take place.

court lantern DSC_0203

DIA800xH800mm, China

It is believed that the first court lantern was made for Emperor Liu Xiu, 23 A.D., after successfully unifying the country he held a large banquet in the palace, decorated with ribbons and lanterns.  Until the Sui dynasty, the court lantern is restricted for the use in the palace.  On the coronation of Emperor Wen, 590 A.D., the city Lou Yang held a bit celebration with nightly banquets, operas and court lanterns hanging throughout.  Since then, on the day of  Yuan Xiao every family will hang up court lanterns on the main beam of the living room.

This is the wooden frame of the lantern, a decorative silk or glass panels.  The frame can be folded up nicely for storage till the next Yuan Xiao festival.

New Year Paper Cutout Decoration

W240xL380mm, China

This door hanger paper cutout is called Diao Qian Er, a blessing for household for the new year.  They would be place on the lintel on “Spring Arrival” day ( last Monday, the 4th of  Feb) and be taken down on, 24th Feb, the night of Yuan Xiao.  It is believed that if if is not taken down on Yuan Xiao, the sleepy worm would stay with the household for the year.  In rural China,  the farmers who have no Sunday or Public Holiday, Chinese New Year is the only time they would allow themselves to take a break from work and rest.  Taking off the Dio Qian Er would signify the end of the New Year celebration.

On this paper cutout; there is the word “合家歡樂”, happiness for the whole family, on a backdrop of  卍 Man Ji Wan which is a symbol for essence of goodness.  Below are symbols of coins, symbolizing wealth.