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Where can you find Chinese folk handicrafts?
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17:07, September 11, 2007

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A Canadian reader sent us a letter saying that "we are very interested in China's long history and culture. We want to come to China to study Chinese and travel. We are interested in Chinese folk handicrafts such as shadow puppets, paper-cutting and Spring Festival Images. If only People's Daily could introduce these contents, we could use it as teaching material so that we can understand more about China."

In order to meet our readers' demands and share with you the rich and colorful Chinese culture, we are now publishing this series of reports entitled "Zero distance with Chinese culture."

Folk handicrafts, having a long history in China, are treasures of Chinese art and culture. They are famous at home and abroad for their workmanship and variety. Paper-cutting, Spring Festival Images, kites, shadow puppets, and wax-printing are excellent representations of China's folk handicrafts.

Paper-cutting

Paper-cutting is a kind of traditional folk decoration art. One can use scissors or a carving knife to cut color paper into various decorative designs or patterns. Paper-cutting is a tradition during the Spring Festival in most parts of China. Various paper-cutting patterns are placed on windows or on doors - an addition that is especially nice during the festival.

There are two types of paper-cutting: one is single color, and the other is multi-color. The single color type is usually red; while the multi-colored kind looks rich and colorful. In order to accommodate different preferences, paper-cutting comes in a variety of patterns.

In northern China, paper-cutting in Shaanxi, Gansu, and Zhongyang in Shanxi are most representative of characters that are straightforward and unrestricted. In southern China, Yangzhou in Jiangsu, and the Leqing and Yizu areas in Zhejiang provinces, the characters are delicate and beautiful.

The subjects of paper-cutting are often flowers, birds, worms, fishes and Peking Opera's facial makeup. With similarity in the pronunciation or character of the subjects, there is meaning behind each pattern.

Recommended: Liu Ren Paper-cutting House

Address: Shoushuihe Hutong in western district of Beijing. You can see various paper-cutting styles and experience the joy of cutting paper yourself.

Hours: 9:30-17:00 only Saturday and Sunday

Ticket price: 10 yuan.

Bus 9 or 47 can take you there.


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