China Clay Figurine Museum will Open to Public in the Coming May

As reported recently, China Clay Figurine Museum lied in the "Clay Village" – Wuxi in China will complete construction soon and well be officially opened in May of this year.

Wuxi Huishan Clay Figurines

Currently, the museum has recruited one thousands pieces of clay figurine treasures throughout the country for exhibition, so tourists in domestic and came from overseas can enjoy the artistic charm of Chinese colored clay in the entertainment experience.

The recorded history of clay figurine in China can be traced back from four thousand years ago, clay figurine is one of the most ancient and common folk arts in China, in domestic Tianjin, Beijing, Shaanxi, more than a dozen provinces and municipalities, all has its own representative heritage genre of clay color figurines.

Wuxi Huishan Clay Figurines

Among them, Wuxi Huishan clay figurines, Tianjin clay figurine Zhang, Beijing Han’s color clay figurines and so on, all have a history more than one hundred years, and since the Ming Dynasty, Wuxi have been reputed as "Huishan Street, five miles long, return with riding flowers and fragrant soles” to praise the fragrance of the soil of Wuxi.

As the main genre of clay figurine art in China, Wuxi Huishan clay figurines was been listed in the first batch of the National Intangible Cultural Heritage of China.

Wuxi Huishan Clay Figurines

It is understood, The China Clay Figurine Museum that located in Huishan ancient town Beitang District, Wuxi city Museum composed by four exhibition halls, a temporary exhibition hall, a clay figurine workshop and a multi-media theater, the exhibition area has an area of 8,000 square meters.

The Museum equipped with 10 masters studios, among them, there are 8 studios for clay figurine masters, and the other two for masters of tin embroidery and bamboo carving.

Wuxi Huishan Clay Figurines

The more than one thousand pieces of clay figurine works for show collected by the museum, a part of them were obtained from China clay figurine exhibitions, and the other batch were reproductions of fine clay figurines in all ages and reproduced by national & provincial grade industrial arts masters invited by the museum.

The staff worked in the museum introduced that, this time the China Clay Figurine Museum built in Wuxi and China Academy of Clay Figurines, will change the traditional way of heritage transferred in workshops, they will reunion all clay art resource in domestic China, thus to create a cultural and creative industry park with modern aesthetic spice and entertainment elements, and the related clay art industry chains will also be developed since that.

Wuxi Huishan Clay Figurines

It is also reported that the three old workshops of former Huishan Clay Factory now have been get a renewal repair, and will worked as the sales area of clay figurines as well as clay figurine workshops, which is used to show "living specimen" of the production process of clay figurines livingly, thus to enrich the art content of the clay museum.

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


Celebration of Tomb Sweeping Day (Qingming Festival) in China is Coming

Celebrated two weeks after the vernal equinox, the Tomb Sweeping Day is one of the few traditional Chinese holidays that follows the solar calendar-- typically falling on April 4, 5, or 6.

Its Chinese name "Qing Ming" literally means "Clear Brightness," hinting at its importance as a celebration of Spring. Similar to the spring festivals of other cultures, Tomb Sweeping Day celebrates the rebirth of nature, while marking the beginning of the planting season and other outdoor activities.

Qingming Festival in Ancient Times of China

In ancient times, people celebrated Qingming Festival with dancing, singing, picnics, and kite flying. Colored boiled eggs would be broken to symbolize the opening of life. In the capital, the Emperor would plant trees on the palace grounds to celebrate the renewing nature of spring. In the villages, young men and women would court each other.

Tomb Sweeping Day Celebrated Today in China

With the passing of time, this celebration of life became a day to the honor past ancestors. Following folk religion, the Chinese believed that the spirits of deceased ancestors looked after the family. Sacrifices of food and spirit money could keep them happy, and the family would prosper through good harvests and more children.

Today, Chinese visit their family graves to tend to any underbrush that has grown. Weeds are pulled, and dirt swept away, and the family will set out offerings of food and spirit money. Unlike the sacrifices at a family's home altar, the offerings at the tomb usually consist of dry, bland food. One theory is that since any number of ghosts rome around a grave area, the less appealing food will be consumed by the ancestors, and not be plundered by strangers.

Qingming Fesitival Custom: Honoring Ancestors

Honoring ancestors begins with proper positioning of a gravesite and coffin. Experts in feng shui, or geomancy, determine the quality of land by the surrounding aspects of streams, rivers, trees, hills, and so forth. An area that faces south, with groves of pine trees creates the best flow of cosmic energy required to keep ancestors happy. Unfortunately, nowadays, with China's burgeoning population, public cemetaries have quickly surplanted private gravesites. Family elders will visit the gravesite at least once a year to tend to the tombs.

While bland food is placed by the tombs on Qingming Festival, the Chinese regularly provide scrumptious offerings to their ancestors at altar tables in their homes. The food usually consists of chicken, eggs, or other dishes a deceased ancestor was fond of. Accompanied by rice, the dishes and eating utensils are carefully arranged so as to bring good luck. Sometimes, a family will put burning incense with the offering so as to expedite the transfer of nutritious elements to the ancestors. In some parts of China, the food is then eaten by the entire family.

Qingming Fesitival Custom: Flying Kites

Besides the traditions of honoring the dead, people also often fly kites on the Tomb Sweeping Day (Qingming Festival). Kites can come in all kinds of shapes, sizes, and colors. Designs could include frogs, dragonflies, butterflies, crabs, bats, and storks.

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