Category: reference

eggpuffs: How to make a Chinese herbal tea? 逍遥…

eggpuffs:

How to make a Chinese herbal tea? 逍遥草本茶,泡一杯自在逍遥!

Huh, if I might… I have seen in many images …

Huh, if I might… I have seen in many images women having a marking/tattoo-like on their foreheads? Does it mean something or…?

Hi! The markings on the forehead are beauty ornaments called Huadian/花钿. They’re purely ornamental accessories that became fashionable among women during the Tang dynasty. I wrote about Huadian in my posts here, herehere, and here. Also fyi, I have a masterpost that compiles all my previous replies, so please check it out if you haven’t already ^^ (Image via)

Hello! I was wondering if I could ask you a qu…

Hello! I was wondering if I could ask you a question about something I noticed in post 136427994491 (and in tradition Chinese photography in general). I've noticed that there are sometimes a red marking on a women's forehead. Do these markings mean anything? I'm particularly curious about the one that looks like a flower and the ones that are a dot

Hi, of course I’m happy to answer your question!

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The forehead markings are called “huadian/花鈿", and they are a purely ornamental type of accessory that was most popular during the Tang Dynasty. Huadian came in a variety of colors (red, green, yellow – but mostly red), shapes (flowers/petals, animals – birds/fish, etc.), and materials (paint, paper, gold, pearls, petals, fish bones, seashells, feathers, etc.). Nowadays it is usually painted on/a temporary tattoo. Fouryearsofshades has a write-up on huadian here. Below – historical huadian:

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Huadian can be worn on the cheeks, as seen in the two left pictures in the 2nd row above – these are called mianye/面靥 or xiaoye/笑靥. They usually took the form of a dimple about one centimeter from each side of the lips, and came in a variety of shapes, including coins, peaches, birds, and flowers.

There is a legend about the origin of huadian, recounted by Hua Mei in the book Chinese Clothing (pdf):

“The Huadian or forehead decoration was said to have originated in the South Dynasty, when the Shouyang Princess was taking a walk in the palace in early spring and a light breeze brought a plum blossom onto her forehead. The plum blossom for some reason could not be washed off or removed in any way. Fortunately, it looked beautiful on her, and all of a sudden became all the rage among the girls of the commoners. It is therefore called the “Shouyang makeup” or the “plum blossom makeup.” This makeup was popular among the women for a long time in the Tang and Song Dynasties.”

The flower/petal shapes typically represent the plum blossom. I’m not sure if the dot represents anything significant, besides being a common shape.

Below – actresses wearing huadian and mianye in film/tv:

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Hope this helps! 🙂 

Edit: See here for post identifying the the actresses/films/tv series in the compilation above.

Chinese diaspora asking here: I saw the questi…

Chinese diaspora asking here: I saw the questions about making hanfu. Would it be weird for a girl to wear men’s hanfu? I kind of want to own either a zhiju(?) or yuanlingpao since seeing the drawings of female characters wearing yuanlingpao.

Hi, thanks for the question!

It’s definitely not weird for a girl to wear men’s Hanfu! Plus, as I mentioned in my post on unisex Hanfu, both Zhiju and Yuanlingpao are considered unisex garments, as they’ve historically been worn by both men and women. Some examples: 

Zhiju from 挽纱坊:

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Yuanlingpao from 重回汉唐:

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Especially in this day and age, you should feel free to wear whatever kind of Hanfu you like ^^ Hope this helps!

Are there any styles of hanfu that are unisex?

Are there any styles of hanfu that are unisex?

Hi, thanks for the question! I think the more pertinent question is, which styles of Hanfu aren’t unisex? One of the great things about Hanfu is that many of its styles are not limited to a specific gender, to the point that couples can go out wearing exactly identical clothes if they wish. Examples below – 1) Ruqun/Yishang, 2) Zhiju:

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Common Hanfu styles considered to be unisex include the following (note: see posts here and here for Hanfu definitions): Ruqun (known as Yishang for men), Beizi, Banbi, Bijia, Pifeng, Zhiju, Quju, Yuanlingpao (technically men’s Hanfu, but became popular with women during the Tang dynasty), Shuhe, and Doupeng. These are just some of the most basic styles; there are many more. Examples below – 1) Banbi, 2) Beizi, 3) Yuanlingpao, 4) Shuhe:

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Meanwhile, Hanfu styles considered exclusive to women include: Chest-high Ruqun, Daxiushan, Aoqun, Chang Ao, and U-Collar; while styles considered exclusive to men include: Dachang, Daopao, Zhiduo, Lanshan, Tieli, and Yisan/Yesa (again, these lists are by no means exhaustive).

Nowadays, of course, people are free to wear any style of Hanfu they want, regardless of its assigned gender code. As in Western fashion, women are freer to experiment with men’s Hanfu than the other way around. Example below – Couple wearing Song dynasty-style Lanshan, which is a formal style of Hanfu worn by male scholars and students since the Tang dynasty:

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Hope this helps!

Is 璎珞 always worn on Ming dynasty Hanfu?

Is 璎珞 always worn on Ming dynasty Hanfu?

Hi! No, Yingluo/璎珞 is worn with many other Hanfu styles besides that of the Ming dynasty. As I mentioned in my previous post, Yingluo became fashionable during the Sui and Tang dynasties, and has been a popular ornament since then. So it can be worn with many different styles of Hanfu, including Tang, Song, Ming, etc. 

Some examples of Yingluo worn with non-Ming dynasty Hanfu styles via Niki-镜子:

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Hope this helps!

dressesofchina:

dressesofchina:

Tuánshà (circle fans) -themed brochets by Qian Zhongshi, founder of Shiji Classic Jewelry 狮记古典珠宝

Is 璎珞 always worn on Ming dynasty Hanfu?

Is 璎珞 always worn on Ming dynasty Hanfu?

Hi! No, Yingluo/璎珞 is worn with many other Hanfu styles besides that of the Ming dynasty. As I mentioned in my previous post, Yingluo became fashionable during the Sui and Tang dynasties, and has been a popular ornament since then. So it can be worn with many different styles of Hanfu, including Tang, Song, Ming, etc. 

Some examples of Yingluo worn with non-Ming dynasty Hanfu styles via Niki-镜子:

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Hope this helps!

dressesofchina: National Treasure recreates T…

dressesofchina:

National Treasure recreates Tang-dynasty marble relief 彩绘散乐浮雕 at the Hebei Museum

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvJS7XRhuoU

Hi! I was wondering if there's a specific…

Hi! I was wondering if there's a specific word used for those large ring-like necklaces sometimes worn with hanfu?

Hi, thanks for the question!

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The large ring-like necklaces sometimes worn with Hanfu are called Xiangquan/项圈 (lit. “collar”). There’s a specific variety of Xiangquan that‘s often worn with Hanfu called Yingluo Xiangquan/璎珞项圈, which is fancier and involves more pieces than standard Xiangquan. Yingluo/璎珞 originates from ornaments called Keyura, which were made of gold, jade, and other valuable materials and worn on the head, neck, chest, arms, and legs by royalty and the wealthy in ancient India. The Sakyamuni Buddha was said to have also been adorned with this auspicious ornament when he was a prince, as was his mother when she gave birth to him. Keyura gradually came to adorn statues and paintings of Bodhisattvas and Buddhas:

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Later, Keyura was introduced into China with the spread of Buddhism, where it was called Yingluo. During the Sui and Tang dynasties, it was imitated and adapted by fashionable women, becoming a piece of high jewelry. Below – Yingluo in Chinese art (note: it was worn by children as well as adults):

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You can often see Xiangquan and Yingluo Xiangquan in Chinese dramas. For example, they are commonly used in drama adaptations of the classic novel Dream of the Red Chamber:

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Boys/Men wear them too!:

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Due to the Hanfu revival movement, Xiangquan and especially Yingluo Xiangquan are making comebacks as gorgeous and versatile Hanfu accessories:

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Please see my Yingluo tag for more resources. Hope this helps! 

All product photos are from Hanfu accessories brand 青荷记忆国风首饰.

Sources: 1, 2, 3