Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!

On August 15 according to the lunar calendar every year is the traditional mid-autumn festival in China, and the The Mid-Autumn Festival and the Chinese New Year, the Ching Ming Festival, the Dragon Boat Festival are known as the four big traditional festivals of Chinese Han nation. According to historical records, ancient emperors have ceremonies of worshipping the sun in spring and worshipping the moon in autumn, and the festival period of worshipping the moon is on August 15 according the lunar calendar,. which is just the time meet the mid time of the autumn, therefore it was called as “Mid-Autumn”, at the same time, owing to this festival is in August in Autumn, so it was also been called as “Autumn Festival”, "August Festival", "August Gathering," "Mid-Autumn Day";

At the same time, as there are faith of praying for reunion and related customs and activities, the Mid-Autumn Festival is also been called as “Union Day” and “Daughter’s Day”. And for the main activities in the Mid-Autumn Festival were carried on around the “Moon”, so it was been called as “Moon Day”, “Moon Eve”, “Moon Pursuing Festival” , “Moon Enjoying Day” and “Moon Worshipping Day”; In the Tang dynasty, the mid-autumn festival were also called as “Decorum Month”. With regard to the origin of the Mid-Autumn Festival there are three types approximately: Origins from the worshipping of moon in ancient times, custom of dancing and looking for pal in the moonlight, religue of worshipping the gnome in autumn in ancient times.

As the Mid-Autumn Festival is coincides with the fruit harvest season, so fruits and melons were be used as sacrific food to the moon goodness that also were contained a few cultural connotations: Water melon symbolizes reunion, guava symbolizes grand-generativity, persimmon symbolizes auspicious, jujube symbolizes to have sons earlier, chestnut symbolizes offspring get married and start a career earlier and so on. At the same time, there are also taboos in the custom, such as sweet pears could not be used as sacrificed offerings to the moon goodness, for pear in Chinese pronunciation means separation, and implied disaster, which is oppose to the reunion meanings of the mid-autumn festival.

The climax of the Mid-Autumn Festival is on the night of August 15 according to the lunar calendar, the whole family gather together to have reunion dinners, which is called "round moon." If there are some relatives did not return home, their dinnerware should placed on the dinner table that to symbolize the family reunion. In the dinner cuisine, “August osmanthus duck”(a type of water boiled salted duck) is an essential dish, second is soybean cooked with young chicken, taro or ripe water chestnut cooked with braised pork in brown sauce.

From 2008, Mid-Autumn Festival is regulated as a National Holiday by the government, China attaches great importance to the protection of intangible cultural heritage, on May 20, 2006, the holiday was approved as the first batch of national grade intangible cultural heritage by the State Council.

Wish good persons all could have a peaceful life, wish you happy
Mid-Autumn Festival!

* Original address of this China gift post: China Gift and Fine Arts & Crafts in China


Lacquer Ware – An Art Flower Blossoming in Traditional Chinese Culture I

Household utensils, handicrafts, artwork covering with paints and varnishes on the surface are commonly been known as "lacquer." Raw lacquer is a natural juice extracted from the lacquer tree, primarily made up of urushiol, laccase, tree resin and water. Use it as a type of paint, due to its resistance to moisture, high temperature, corrosion and other special functions, at the same time it can be prepared into a variety of color paint, shiny and radiant.

In China, people began to learn the special performance of paint from the Neolithic times and use it to make utensils. As go through the Shang and Zhou dynasties until the Ming and Qing dynasties, Chinese lacquer crafts developed continuously, and has reached to a very high level. Chinese Qiang Gilding and Describing Gilding lacquer crafts, has incurred great impacts in Japan and other countries. Lacquer ware is one of important inventions in fields of chemical techniques and industrial arts in China.

Lacquer ware has a long history in China, according to related records of some documents, lacquer were been used by people initially in the Xia and Yu's era as early as more than 4200 years ago, which become more developed in the Warring States Period. In the Han dynasty, lacquer ware were been applied with common household utensils, and become popular increasingly. In the Tang Dynasty the physical production of lacquer ware also had achieved a marked development. After the Song, Yuan and Ming Dynasty, the methods of lacquer-making had developed into more than 20 kinds.

(not finished to be continue...)

* Original address of this China gift post: China Gift and Fine Arts & Crafts in China


Happy Double-Seventh Day (Chinese Valentine's Day)!

Every year on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month is a traditional Chinese festival of Han nation called the Double-Seventh Day, which is also known as the Chinese Valentine's Day. As the main participants of this festival is young girls, and the main activities of this holiday is begging for cleverness, therefore people call this day as "Qi Qiao Festival" , "Young Girls Day" or "Daughters Day".

The Double-Seventh Day is the most romantic festival in traditional Chinese festivals, over the past days it is also a most important holiday taken account by unmarried girls. On the night of this day, women will threading needles and bedding for cleverness, praying happiness, welfare and health, as well as worshiping the goodness of Seven Sisters, the ceremony is pious and solemn ceremony, flowers, fruits and needleworks will be displayed to the goodness, and each piece of furniture, utensils used on the ceremony is beautiful, cute and lovable.

Double-Seventh Day also known as "Star Date", famous Chinese poet Wang Bo in his poem "Double-Seventh Day Ode" referred the Double-Seventh Day with "Star Date", and pointed out that the two nights are the most nicely and the most sorrowful and affecting nights related to parentchild relationship and love through the year, maybe just because this point, later people called the auspicious day when a man married with a women as "Star Date".

In clear summer nights, stars shines in the sky, a vast expanse of white Milky Way just like an overbridge traversed across the north and south, at the east and west coasts of the Milky Way, there is a shining star on each side, with the river between them, they gazed and desired at each other, opposite to each other distantly, that is the Altair and Vega.

Sitting and watching the Altair and Vega on the Double-Seventh Day, is a folk customs in China. According to legend, on this evening every year is the special date time permitted for the Cowboy and the Vega who was living in the heaven. Vega is a beautiful, smart and dexterous fairy, so on this night earthly women would beg for wisdom and cleverness to her, as well as a happy marriage, so the Double Seventh Day is also known as "Qi Qiao Festival".

It was taken as a legend that on the night of the Double Seventh Day, you can look up and see the meeting of Cowboy and Vega, and listened their lovingly words in the dating under fruit shelves.¡¡

In this night full of rich romantic air, girls will place seasonal fruits and melons, and worshiping to bright moon in the sky piously, and begging to the fairy endowing them with smart hearts and dexterous hands, so that they could become more deft on the needlework techniques, yet begging for a happy future and marriage. Over the past days, to each woman the marriage is the most significant opportunity which will decide whether they could achieve a lifetime happiness or not, so, at dead of night, there will be countless young men and women who would to worship the stary sky and begging for a happy future and marriage.

Wish You all shall be well, and Jack shall have Jill!

Happy Happy Double-Seventh Day!

* Original address of this China gift post: China Gift and Fine Arts & Crafts in China

Special Props of the Doll's Festival in Japan

Cavin: Have you ever been to Japan?

Kathy: Yeah, it impressed me a lot , especially their traditional culture.

Cavin: That makes two of us. The Janpanese always attach weight to their traditional culture.

Kathy: Doll’s Festival is interesting, I think.

Cavin: Doll’s Festival is on 3rd, March.

Kathy: Girls dress up in their glorious clothes, and the dolls are showed up.

Cavin: The dolls symbolize that children may keep out of disasters and bad lucks,growing up happily.

Kathy:Maybe a kind of blessings.

Cavin:The dolls are taken up when the festival passed.

Kathy: My friends in Janpan also gave me one, so lovely.

* About the Japanese Doll's Festival

The Doll's Festival in Japanese is called "Hina Matsuri", this fun holiday is more commonly known as Girls Day and is celebrated every March 3rd.

Girls throughout Japan display their doll collections for a few days to celebrate "Hina Matsuri." One legend says if a girl displays her dolls for more than 3 days she will marry later in life.

In the weeks before Hina Matsuri you will begin to see displays of dolls in stores all over Okinawa. You'll see small and large displays exhibited with tiny furniture and other items. The dolls, called hina ningyo, vary in size and price. They are exhibited on one-, five- or seven-tiered display stands.

Traditionally, two dolls representing the emperor and empress are positioned on the top level of the display stand which is draped in red cloth. These dolls are called Dairi-sama. They are attired in the traditional court costumes of ancient Japan. Around them are small pieces of furniture representing items found in the ancient imperial palace. Members of the royal entourage are arranged on the lower levels of the large stands.

* Words of the editor:
Now, do you know what's the special prop of the doll's festival in Japan? is hat interesting a lot? hehe, wish you have a good day!

* Original address of this China gift post: China Gift and Fine Arts & Crafts in China