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We had an absolutely perfect day with our tour guide - Rogin Luo - who took us for a hike along The Great Wall! Didn't know what to expect and were thrilled to have him as our guide. Very imformative, knowledgable and fun! We go to experience a part of The Great Wall that was unrestored and see all its natural beauty. Got a long history lesson along the way!

After the hike, we all went to lunch at a small place at the bottom of the hill. Located in a house, we ate lunch in the proprietors bedroom! What a hoot! Rogin is the Best of the Best! This tour company delivered for us and we are extremely grateful.

Westborough, Massachusetts
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Home  »  China Travel Guide  »  Chinese Culture  »  Chinese Handicrafts  »  
Chinese Paper Cutting

As one of the oldest folk handcrafts, Chinese paper cutting (剪纸) has a long-standing history, which could be traced back to the 6th century. According to historical records, the earliest paper cutting was discovered in tombs of Northern and Southern Dynasties period in the shape of animals and flowers.

Paper cutting, as a kind of traditional Chinese culture, was derived from ancient activities of worshiping ancestors and gods. The cutters first paint the patterns on a piece of paper and then cut it out with scissors or a knife. Paper cutting maintains abundant branches up to now.

The descendants of the Miao Nationality still keep the custom to stick cutting ghosts and god to the door on holidays. Especially in the countryside, villagers often prepare various paper cutting on New Year’s Day or other festivals. Paper cutting stuck on windows and doors are patterned like baby, gourd, lotus, etc, which can be used to symbolize plenty of offspring and plenty of blessings. Paper cutting has become one of the most popular 10 top Beijing Souvenirs by travelers.

History of development
Paper cutting of a real sense came into being in Han and Wei period before iron tools and paper were invented. Paper is easy to mildew, however, the dry climate in Northwest China is suitable to keep paper over a long period of time, so maybe it is one of the important reasons why paper cutting of Bei Dynasty was discovered in Xinjing.

Paper cutting made great development in Song Dynasty. Paper of every description was created one after another, contributing greatly to the enrichment of paper-cut varieties including decorations for lantern and tea cup, window adornment, or even used for folk gifts.

The art of paper cutting became mature and reached a period of great prosperity. It was in a wide application such as folk lantern adornment, covering of fan ornament, embroidery fabrics, etc..The main paper-cut artists are women. Being good at needlework is traditionally an important sign of female perfections.

Paper cutting is geography divided into southern and northern style. Yangzhou paper cutting is on behalf of the southern style for its ingenious and beautiful design, exquisite carve and interesting shape. In Sui Dynasties, maids were ordered to cut paper to decorate trees and flowers in winter to cater for Yang Kingdom’s travel in Yangzhou. In Tang Dynasty, Yangzhou has come into being the custom to welcome spring by paper cutting. Nowadays, Yangzhou paper cutting has more than 1,000 kinds of varieties, exported overseas.

The northern style, represented by Zhongyang paper cutting, Lvliang city, Shanxi province, featurs overstatement, vigorousness, vivid depiction and diversity. It has been included in the first batch of national intangible cultural heritage protection list in 2006.


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