Be Entice With Paper Lanterns

February 17th, 2014

During Christmas, every person is busy doing a lot of things as preparation. People create a list of their Christmas gift. Some are busy shopping in advance to avoid traffic in the mall counter as Christmas season comes where people keep in hurry and rush to shop. There are a lot of parties and occasions that can be found too specially in companies and for family gathering. But, we can perfectly see the scent of Christmas if we found colorful Christmas lights and other wonderful decorations along the streets. And, most of us see lanterns along the streets and respective houses during Christmas in common. This serves as representation of culture and a sign of Yuletide season. 

Paper lanterns are simple Christmas decoration. It is usually a paper bag with a candle placed inside. However, some of the lanterns consist of metal frame of hoops, collapsible bamboo, and perfectly covered with tough paper. Thus, there are different ways to create this that comes in different shapes and sizes as desired. You can use your imaginative mind to create touch and accentuate the said lanterns. In fact, some does it with the use of silk with metal expander. Chinese characters are also incorporated to give decoration more color and give emphasize on the designs. The sunlight, rain, and wind are the common causes that affect the beauty and color of the lanterns. Because of these, it may fade and damage. But there is no need to worry about it. Vinyl lanterns are more durable and protect you from these. Compared to other lanterns, this can survive long much more the silk lanterns that last even longer.

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These lanterns can be considered as attractions too in various festivals like in China and Japan home decoration. Most of the time, the Japanese has their own style. Bonbori and chochi as its name are the common and traditional approach in doing these lanterns. And, as its uniqueness, chochin moji serves as their lettering identity. Furthermore, there are lanterns used to capture your eyes at night during festival. This is the so called sky lantern, an airborne paper lantern. This creates an aesthetic effect and gives bright, charming, and beautiful effect in the sky.

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In China, Baby’s Bottom, Rolling Paper, Tomato Light, Crystal Magic, and Buddha’s Gastronomy are the classifications of the lanterns. These five distinct classes have its own identity and representations. For instance, the Buddha’s Gastronomy that can be found as decoration in temples. Similarly, to highlight the artistry of the lantern, they used Christmas lights like in Baby’s Bottom. In some restaurants and bars, Rolling Paper, as another class of lanterns is often associated. Finally, the Tomato Light and Crystal Magic come in various shapes and size where the former comes in classic round and the latter in round or capsule-shaped.

These what makes these lanterns unique in its own. In its variety of style and approach, you can engage your imagination to enhance it. No wonder that it can entice you the moment you seen it in festivals and similar occasions like Christmas.

Fun Ways to Celebrate Before and During the Chinese New Year Season

January 26th, 2014

Clean House – Before the New Year arrives, the Chinese consider it very important to give the house a thorough cleaning, sweeping away any bad luck that may have accumulated over the past year.

Home Decoration! – Doors and window panes are also often painted red, considered to be a lucky color. In addition, people like to hang papercuts on doors and windows. (Paper cutting is an ancient Chinese art form dating back to the Han dynasty).

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Don’t clean for the first few days of the New Year – if you do any sweeping during this time, you risk sweeping away your good luck.

Offer a Sacrifice to the Kitchen God – Many families have a poster of the kitchen god  in their kitchen. The custom is to offer a ceremonial sacrifice to the Kitchen God, to make sure that he gives a good report on the family’s behavior when he returns to heaven.Nian gao  is popular, or children may rub honey on him.

An important tradition on New Year’s Eve is for families to gather together and spend the evening preparing chinese dumpling. According to Chinese style culture, it is common to hide a coin in one of the dumplings. Whoever gets the dumpling with the coin will supposedly have good luck in the coming year.
Give out money packets – On New Years day, children receive leisee- red packets decorated with gold symbols and filled with “lucky money”.

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Serve festive foods – Throughout the New Years season, certain foods are served because they symbolize abundance and good fortune. Besides preparing special dishes, tangerines and oranges are often passed out to children and guests, as they symbolize wealth and good luck.

Prepare a tray of togetherness – This is a circular or octagon-shaped tray with eight compartments, each containing symbolic foods such as lotus seeds and lychee nuts, that provides a sweet beginning to the New Year.

Chinese New Year Traditions

January 26th, 2014

Different part of China has very different traditions. The following are the most typical traditions.

New Year’s Eve Dinner

The New Year’s Eve dinner is the most important dinner for Chinese. Normally this is the family reunion dinner, especially for those with family member away from home. In the New Year’s Eve dinner, normally fish will be served. Dumplings are the most important dish in northern china. These two dishes mean prosperous. Other dishes are depending on personal preference. The majority of Chinese will have New Year’s Eve dinner at home instead of restaurant.

New Year Markets

At the New Years days, a temporarily market will be setup mainly selling New Year goods, such as chinese clothing, fireworks, decoration, foods, small arts, etc. The market is usually decorated with a large amount of lanterns.

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Fireworks

Fireworks are used to drive away the evil in China. Right after the 12:00PM of the New Year’s Eve, fireworks will be launched to celebrate the coming of the New Year as well as driven away the evil. It is believed that the person who launched the first Fireworks in the New Year will get good luck.

Shou Sui

Shou Sui means after the New Year’s Eve dinner, family member will normally stay awake during the night. Some people just stay until the mid night, after the fireworks. According to tales and legends, there was a mythical beast called the “Year”. At the night of New Year’s Eve, the “Year” will come out to harm people, animals, and proprieties. Later people found that the “Year” is afraid of red color, fire, and loud sound. Therefore, at the New Year’s Eve night, people will launch fireworks, put on some fires, and stay awakes the whole night to fend of the “Year”.

Red Packets

Red packet is a red envelope with money in it, range from one to a few thousand Chinese Yuan. Usually the red racket is given by adults, especially married couple, and elderly to young children in the New Year days. It was believed that the money in the red packet will suppress the evil from the children, keep the children healthy, and long living.

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Small Year

Small year is the 23th or 24th of the last month of the year. It is said that this is the day the food god will leave the family to go to the heaven to report the activity of family to the Emperor of the heaven. People will have some religious ceremony to farewell the food god, including take down and burn the paint of the food god. After the New Year’s Day, people will buy a new paint of the food god and post it at the kitchen.

Cleaning

A few days before the Chinese New Year, people will do a complete cleaning of the house and house ware; means get rid of the old and welcome the new. In old days when bath is not often, people will normally take a throughout bath to welcome the New Year.

Decoration

After the cleaning, people will decorate the house to welcome the New Year. Most of the decorations are red in color. The most popular New Year home decorations are upside down fu, dui lian, lantern, year paint, papercutting, door god, etc.

 

From Mao Suits to Polo Shirt

January 24th, 2014

Everyday, there are news create tension, give information, or lead us to trend and development. In one situation, while reading an article about the ongoing trial of Gu Kailai, the wife of the fallen Communists chief Bo Xilai, I had noticed something about modern China. You might think it’s the legal improprieties, well it’s a no. It is about the ubiquity of the polo shirt worn by Beijing attorney Shen Zhigeng and Zhang Xianjun.

Is this a new fashion style? It is charming and encourages others to imitate? What makes it different and takes my attention? Yes, it creates difference in fashion style and captures others’ attention. Peoples’ focus and attention are not primarily on the event or the main course of the accession but seemingly on the dresses and clothes, like me. They became observant and we apparently seen this kind of modification. An evidence of seeing the possibilities of switching fashion. Like what had been seen during the trial. Indeed, Polo shirt had influenced Chinese people in their fashion.

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The polo shirt or the tennis shirt as an original name had dominated China, together with the Mao Suits that had been originally called a Sun Yat-Sen suit. It is a T-shaped garment with a knitted collar. A knitted fabric is the main material used. Polo shirts are widely used by sport enthusiast but had diversified its use and became common in school uniforms. Apparently, observed worn by diplomat and highly dignified individuals in various occasion and events, formal or informal. Polo shirt is leading all over the white collar works. It is paired with the short sleeve dress shirt that is considered its illegitimate cousin.

It can also be paired with other apparels. Suited to be matched up with jacket and long sleeve versions wherein often seen during the colder months. This adds to the cool effect of the wardrobes. Sadly these polo shirts contain many dizzy rays of colors and over sized logos compare to the monochromatic simplicity of Western equivalents.

The officials’ wardrobes of China even have polo shirts that act as de facto currency. A blogger heard a story from a foreigner trying to start a small business in Beijing a couple of years ago. The foreigner was advised to offer the local police a two-extra large polo shirt from one of the famous brands with the price not less that 1000RMB(at that time approximately $127). After hearing those words, he was amused but was staggered later on after finding out that an upscale shop didn’t stock polo shirts under 2000RMB.

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Nouveau riche Chinese people were content in purchasing pricier polo shirts than other chinese clothes. Preferably, they choose Polo Shirt than to buy expensive suits, glittering cuff links and designer ties. Recognizing logos are easier than noticing hints of lavishness. This thing calls for the rejection of the usual wearing of Communist Mao Suits.

Precisely, people are now interested with this fashion set-up. Polo shirt will be a fashion identity of every individual. Without a doubt, this will marvel them in the fashion scenery.