Tradtitonal Chinese Art Treasure - Xuan Paper

Xuan paper is a kind of paper originating in ancient China used for writing and painting. Xuan paper is renowned for being soft and fine textured, suitable for conveying the artistic expression of both Chinese calligraphy and painting.

Xuan paper is produced in Jing County of East China's. Anhui Province. The county was under the jurisdiction of Xuanzhou Prefecture in the Tang Dynasty (618-907). Jing County paper was first shipped to Xuanzhou. and then transshipped to other ports. hence the name of Xuan paper.

Due to different producing methods, Xuan paper can be classified into Shengxuan, Shuxuan, and Banshuxuan. Shengxuan (literally "Raw Xuan"), which is not specially processed, excels in its ability to absorb water, causing the ink on it to blur. Shuxuan (literally "Ripe Xuan"), however, is smeared on by Potassium alum during its production, which results in its texture being harder and its ability to absorb water weaker. This feature makes Shuxuan more suitable for Xieyi rather than Gongbi, and more easily torn at the same time. Banshuxuan (literally "Half-ripe Xuan") has intermediate absorbability, between Shengxuan and Shuxuan.

The paper is soft and fine in texture. suitable for both Chinese calligraphy and painting. Xuan paper has the reputation of being able to last for a thousand years as it can be kept for a long time.

There are numerous kinds of Xuan paper. such as dan. jia. luowen. coral. tiger-skin. and jade-plate. The quality depends on whether the paper is unprocessed. processed. or half-processed.

Unprocessed paper absorbs water easily. Ink filters through this paper easily, too. People must put their brush on this paper to make sure the thickness or thinness of their liquid ink is suitable.


Processed paper goes through a process whereby gelatin made from bones and alum (a kind of sulfate) is added. This kind of paper does not absorb water easily and is stiff or hard to the touch.

Half-processed paper has a neutral character. in that it absorbs water. but it does not filter through easily.

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


Happy The Chinese Dragon Boat Festival!

One of the most important tratidional Chinese festivals - Dragon Boat Festival now is coming soon, now let's know something interesting and unique customs about this Chinese festival and the same time make a warm celebration with all Chinese people in home and overseas.


The Chinese Dragon Boat Festival is a significant holiday celebrated in China, and the one with the longest history. The Dragon Boat Festival is celebrated by boat races in the shape of dragons. Competing teams row their boats forward to a drumbeat racing to reach the finish end first.

The boat races during the Dragon Boat Festival are traditional customs to attempts to rescue the patriotic poet Chu Yuan. Chu Yuan drowned on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month in 277 B.C. Chinese citizens now throw bamboo leaves filled with cooked rice into the water. Therefore the fish could eat the rice rather than the hero poet. This later on turned into the custom of eating tzungtzu and rice dumplings.

The celebration's is a time for protection from evil and disease for the rest of the year. It is done so by different practices such as hanging healthy herbs on the front door, drinking nutritious concoctions, and displaying portraits of evil's nemesis, Chung Kuei. If one manages to stand an egg on it's end at exactly 12:00 noon, the following year will be a lucky one.

The Modern Dragon Boat Festival in China

Starting from that time to this day, people commemorate Qu Yuan through Dragon Boat Races, eating zong zi, and several other activities, on the anniversary of his death: the fifth day of the fifth lunar month.

Dragon boat races date back more than 2,000 years as a Chinese ceremony to celebrate the summer rice planting and to venerate the dragon water deity. In Chinese folklore, there’s another story: In 278 BC, during the Warring States period, popular statesman and poet Qu Yuan tied himself to a rock and walked into the Miluo River, in today’s Hunan province, to drown himself when he learned of an impending invasion. When the local villagers found out, they rushed to their fishing boats to save him while beating a drum to scare the fish away from his body. Every year since (or so the story goes) there’s been a Dragon Boat Festival to mark Qu Yuan’s death.

Custom Fine Food:Zong Zi

The traditional food for the Dragon Boat Festival, Zong zi is a glutinous rice ball, with a filling, wrapped in corn leaves. The fillings can be egg, beans, dates, fruits, sweet potato, walnuts, mushrooms, meat, or a combination of them. They are generally steamed.

Talisman and Charms

Another aspect of the Double Fifth Day is the timing: at the beginning of summer, when diseases are likely to strike, people also wear talisman to fend off evil spirits. They may hang the picture of Zhong Kui, guardian against evil spirits, on the door of their homes, as well. Adults may drink Xiong Huang Wine, and children carry fragrant silk pouches, all of which can prevent evil. It is said that if you can balance a raw egg on its end at exactly noon on Double Fifth Day, the rest of the year will be lucky.

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