Traditional Chinese Hndicraft: Chinese Lanterns2016-07-11 10:16:36Share:
Chinese lantern，collectively known as dengcai(colored lanterns), is a traditional handicraft that once you see it, you will know it is a symbol of China.
The fascinating and warm light provided by a Chinese lantern, which symbolizes reunion and prosperity, will create a joyous atmosphere for people, especially in festival.
Started from the East Han Dynasty (25 A.D. - 220 A.D.), Chinese lantern reached its peak during Tang Dynasty (618 A.D. - 907 A.D.) and Song Dynasty (960 A.D. -1279 A.D.).
The Kaiyuan period in the tang dynasty witnessed the mass production of festive lanterns to celebrate peace and prosperity for the blinking lights holding the meaning that colored dragons were propitious signs indicating a prosperous nation and powerful people.
Combining painting, paper cutting, paper pasting and embroidery, lanterns have various types such as palace lanterns, gauze lanterns, pendant lanterns and trotting horse lanterns as well as various shapes including not only commonly seen round and square shapes but also shapes of human figures, landscapes, flowers, birds, dragons, phoenixes, fish and insects.
Lanterns are so closely associated with daily life that they are seen everywhere such as in temples, streets and yards in all ages. Chinese lanterns are not only used for illumination but also a symbol.
Originally, Chinese people hung lanterns in front of their doors to drive away evil spirits. As to today, the lantern has become a symbol of traditional Chinese culture, playing an important role in celebrations and ceremonies.
For example, in a wedding, the bride lanterns are often made to symbolize happiness and harmony. The word “deng”, Chinese pronunciation of lantern, represents a large number of family members for “deng” has a similar pronunciation with “ding”(meaning the number of family members).
Two of the most famous styles of lanterns come from the capital Beijing in North China, and Suzhou in East China.
The best traditional Beijing palace lanterns require rosewood as the skeleton and traditional-patterned thin silk or glass as covering. Besides lighting function, the palace lanterns are also valuable collections of Chinese lantern collectors. Now they are hung in halls or other spacious rooms to add to the antique atmosphere.
In contrast with Beijing palace lanterns, Suzhou-style lanterns usually have a rustic flavor. They boast a time-honored history and a delicate beauty. Early in the Song Dynasty, lanterns developed into an individual crafts industry in the area. Suzhou lanterns have various appearances, ranging from bird, flower, and fish to pavilion, terrace, tower and even human figures. Suzhou lanterns are famous for their rich color, refined processing, ingenious structure, exquisite sculpture and grand magnificence
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