Traditional Chinese hanfu by 本草阁汉服
Hanfu photoset via coser小梦, Part 8/?
According to Chinese legend, the white Jade Rabbit (玉兔) is a companion to the beautiful moon goddess Chang’e (嫦娥), and pounds the Elixir of Life for her with its mortar and pestle under a cinnamon tree. Chang’e and the Jade Rabbit live in the Moon Palace, and can be seen every year in full view on the day of the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival. Jade Rabbit – Coser小梦 (read about him here); Chang’e – 真的菜菜.
Happy Mid-Autumn Festival everyone! (Source)
Traditional Chinese hanfu by 流烟昔泠
This may seem like a sort of vague question, but what exactly is that type of thin scarf/cloth you see wrapped around the arms and behind the back called? And what is the history of it?
Hi, thanks for the question – it’s not vague at all!
The thin, long scarf that you see worn with hanfu, wrapped around the arms and behind the back, is called pibo/披帛.
Sources state that pibo first appeared sometime around the Qin dynasty (221– 206 BC). It was originally used to protect against wind and cold air, and gradually became an important fashion accessory. There were two types of pibo: one was wider and shorter, used mostly by married women. The other type could be more than two meters in length, and was used mostly by unmarried women. Below – art of historical outfits with pibo from the Tang (1-3), Sui (4), and Song (5) dynasties:
Pibo really came into vogue during the Sui and Tang dynasties. The open, confident culture of the Tang meant that women were eager to utilize accessories to make their appearance and outfits more glamorous. Initially, it was worn by performers and those residing in the palace. After the rise of the Kaiyuan era, it became popular among the common people. Below – historical art depicting pibo from the Sui, Tang, and Five dynasties periods (581–960):
There were many ways of wearing pibo, and each time period had its own popular styles. For example, during the early Tang dynasty, women put pibo directly on their shoulders. During the middle Tang, one end was fixed to the chest, and the other end was draped around the shoulder:
After the Tang dynasty, the pibo gradually became less popular. It fell out of common use during the time of the Song dynasty. Recently, however, with the hanfu revival movement, pibo has been making a comeback as an essential accessory of hanfu. It comes in all sorts of fabrics, styles, and designs:
Pibo is generally only worn with ruqun, and wearing it with other hanfu styles such as quju or aoqun is seen as incongruous (see this post for definitions of hanfu terms). Of course, nowadays people can wear it however they want. For more references, please see my Pibo tag.
Hope this helps!
Traditional Chinese hanfu by 锦瑟衣庄