Latest News:  

English>>Life & Culture

Traditional New Year paintings 500 years later still shine

(China Daily)

08:18, February 16, 2013

A detail of the woodblock.(China Daily)

*To seeHow a nianhua is made please click on the photo.

First made more than 500 years ago, the paintings represent expectations of a prosperous life.

During the Spring Festival, Chinese homes are traditionally decorated with nianhua, or New Year paintings.

Although this folk art has seen its popularity wane in modern times, it still survives in some places in China.

In Henan province, the Huaxian woodblock nianhua is named after the place where it's made, Huaxian county in Anyang city. It was first produced more than 500 years ago during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), and it was most popular during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). In 2008, it was listed as a national intangible cultural heritage.

The Huaxian New Year paintings are rich in content. Most paintings are based on historical stories, religious statues, fairy tales and traditional Chinese operas. People hang them on the walls of their rooms, on their front doors or in their kitchens.

Some of the most popular New Year paintings are the so-called Door Gods, which are pasted on front doors to keep ghosts and evil spirits away. The paintings embody people's expectations of a prosperous life in the New Year.

The Huaxian nianhua paintings are handmade. First, the craftsmen draft an image and engrave that image on a block of wood. They then print out the paintings, which are in black and white. The final step is to colorize the paintings. Craftsmen in Huaxian county retain this traditional production process, which was passed down from their ancestors.

【1】 【2】 【3】 【4】 【5】 【6】 【7】 【8】 【9】

We recommend:

Top 10 satisfying tourist cities of 2012

Old photos: Legendary Asian singer Teresa Teng

Wow! Cutest moments of animals

Glamor actresses in 'Legend of Zhen Huan'

Guides for Snake Year temple fairs in Beijing

Top 9 illusionary photos in 2012

Rare photos of global superstar Li Na

Female stars with most beautiful, shapely legs

Hilarious photos of cute babies

Email|Print|Comments(Editor:GaoYinan、Yao Chun)

Related Reading

Leave your comment0 comments

  1. Name


Selections for you

  1. Chinese marine ships continue regular patrol

  2. Carnival ends in Venezuala

  3. China eyes closer cooperation with IFAD

  4. Heavy fog hits Jiangsu in E China

  5. Lantern show held to celebrate Spring Festival

  6. Florists prepare bouquets for Valentine's Day

  7. Tranquil moment as sun sets over Sanya skyline

  8. Animated displays

  9. Macao embraces peak tourist season

  10. Job hunting fairs held across China

Most Popular


  1. US to withdraw from Middle East?
  2. Ensure fairness during festival travel rush
  3. Is the wolf really gone?
  4. K-pop on Spring Festival gala stirs controversy
  5. Some media don't get the message: no bootlicking
  6. US playing strategic arms game
  7. Aiming at fairer realty market
  8. Dark business environment breeds dark deeds
  9. Israel-Palestine peace talks dominate Obama's visit
  10. Cowardly officials behind thuggish pawns

What’s happening in China

The new generation of 'best paid' jobs

  1. Five missing after Yangtze ferry sinking
  2. Prisoners' rights protected by information tech
  3. Beijing air pollution high despite fewer fireworks
  4. Holiday exposes generation gap
  5. Number of road travellers rises as returning begins