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Fan
Learn Chinese - History and Culture

          Fan
Fan
(shàn zǐ 扇子) is a must in summer. It can drive away summer heat and help bring cooling breeze. Since old ages, the Chinese fan has been carrying artistic and unique national style. China has always been regarded as “the kingdom of fans”. The fan first appeared in China about 3000 years ago, in the Shang (shāng 商) and Zhou (zhōu 周) dynasties. However, the fan in the early period was not used to help bring cooling breeze, but used as the symbol of etiquette. And it was called “the fan of honor”. After the Qin (qín 秦) and Han (hàn 汉) dynasties, the main shapes of fan are square, round and hexagon. The material that used to make fan are mainly silk. Because the silk fans were often used in royal court, people called them “court fan” (gōng shàn 宫扇). During the Tang (táng 唐) and Sui (suí 隋) dynasties, the prevailing fans are the round fan, feather fan, and some paper fans. The folding fan gradually became popular after Song (sòng 宋) Dynasty. In Ming (míng 明) and Qing (qīng 清) dynasties, the home of folding fans are Zhejiang (zhè jiāng 浙江), Suzhou (sū zhōu 苏州) and Sichuan (sì chuān 四川), etc. Then writing poems and the vogue of drawing pictures on the cover of a fan is rising. Then this exquisite skill has been introduced to Europe, and became popular all over the world.

Last Updated on Sunday, 22 November 2009 18:38
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Embroidery
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    Embroidery
Embroidery
(cì xiù 刺绣), a folk art with a history of more than 3000 years, has an important position in the history of Chinese arts and crafts. On a piece of silk or cloth, people embroider all kinds of beautiful pictures and patterns with threads of silk, wool or cotton. Among various kinds of embroidery, the best products come from four provinces: Jiangsu (jiāng sū 江苏), Hunan (hú nán 湖南), Guangdong (guǎng dōng 广东) and Sichuan (sì chuān 四川).

Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 November 2009 09:00
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The Game of Go
Learn Chinese - History and Culture

weiqi

As a crystallization of wisdom, the game of go (wéi qí 围棋) is a legacy of traditional Chinese arts, and has contained many rich values and profound cultural significance throughout the ages. Together with playing musical instruments, reading, and painting, it was considered as one of the essential qualities for ancient Chinese literati.
As a traditional form of art, the game of go also boasts a number of legends about its origin. One of the best known is that when Emperor Yao (yáo 尧帝) married Fuyi Shi (fù yí shì 富宜氏) and had a son named Zhu (zhū ), Yao became very disheartened when the son did not behave well. So Yao made the game of go to cultivate him morally and intellectually. Meanwhile, some believe a political strategist in the Warring States Period (zhán guó shí qī 战国时期)(475-221BC) created it.

Last Updated on Monday, 21 December 2009 08:41
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Jade Carving
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       Jade Ware
It is acknowledged by the world that jade carving (yù diāo 玉雕) is one of the oldest carving arts in China. Crude jade tools appeared in China as early as in the late Neolithic Age (xīn shí qì shí dài 新石器时代). And in the primitive society, our ancestries began to make manufacturing jade tools such as knife, shovel, ax and lance and the jade ornaments. Jade carving became an industry in the Shang (shāng 商) (16th century BC- 11th century BC) and Zhou (zhōu 周) (11th BC- 221 BC) dynasties, when skills of jade carving had a further development. Jade wares were used in rituals or as decorative pendants. The jade carving wares were delicate and the ornamental patterns were elegant. In ancient China, jade was also regarded as a symbol of refinement and moral ethics.

Last Updated on Thursday, 26 November 2009 08:30
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Porcelain
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         Blue and White Porcelain
Porcelain (cí qì 瓷器) derives its present name from old Italian porcellana because of its resemblance to the translucent surface of the shell. Porcelain can informally be referred to as "china" in some English-speaking countries, as China was the birth place of porcelain making. Porcelain was developed on the basis of pottery. If calculated from the appearance of the primitive porcelain in the Shang Dynasty (shāng cháo 商朝), it has a history of about 3000 years. Properties associated with porcelain include low permeability and elasticity; considerable strength, hardness, glassiness, brittleness, whiteness, translucence, and resonance; and a high resistance to chemical attack and thermal shock.

Last Updated on Friday, 27 November 2009 09:44
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Images of blessing
Learn Chinese - History and Culture
daofu

Being a vast and diverse country with over fifty minorities groups,China is a homeland to a myriad different types of images which are meant to give good blessing. In the festivals or celebrations, people like decorating their houses and devices, for the blessing of a happy life and to celebrate the festivals.
Last Updated on Thursday, 06 August 2009 09:26
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