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Papercuts

( CNTV.cn/chinaculture.org )

Updated: 2014-01-24

Papercuts

BEIJING, Jan. 20 (Xinhuanet) -- Papercuts refer to handicrafts made by cutting paper with scissors to form different patterns and pasting them on walls, windows, doors and ceilings. With their long history, papercuts, which originated in China, have been very popular among the ordinary people of China. The first papercut can be traced back to the Northern and Southern Dynasties (386-581) period. The initiation and spread of papercuts had a close relationship with Chinese rural festivals. People pasted papercuts on walls, windows and doors at wedding ceremonies or festivals to enhance the festive atmosphere.

During the Spring Festival, Chinese people in many places like to paste paper-cuts on windows for decoration, which not only help foster a festive atmosphere, but also bring enjoyment to the people.

Chinese papercuts are rich in content. The auspicious designs symbolize good luck and the avoidance of evil. The child, lotus and bottle gourd designs suggest a family with a large number of children and grandchildren. Domestic birds, livestock, fruit, fish and worms are also familiar objects depicted by Chinese farmers. There are some special papercuts of traditional design used as patterns for embroidering clothes, shoes, hats, pillows, bed curtains and door curtains. Papercuts made in different areas have different characteristics. Shaanxi window papercuts are simple and bold; papercuts from Hebei Province and Shanxi Province are bright in color; papercuts in southern provinces are delicate and fine.

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