Lin Lan Calligraphy and Painting: 100 Episodes of Ancient Customs in Chinese Paintings (Episode 3:New Year's greeting card)

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The 5,000-year-old culture of China's Mansion has a very profound and great history, and there are all kinds of strange customs and habits in the history. Today's sharing and learning Chinese New Year's culture.

The Spring Festival has a long history and many names. It is called "Zhongri" in Han Dynasty, "Yuan Day" in Tang and Song Dynasties, "New Year's Day" in Ming and Qing Dynasties, and is commonly known as New Year in the folk.  

As the beginning of the year, during the Spring Festival, there are colorful customs and activities, such as New Year's greetings, ancestor worship, temple fairs, receiving the God of Wealth, and celebrating people's days.  Among them, New Year's greetings are important festival rituals to celebrate the New Year and pay respect to elders.

In the Southern Dynasties, Zong Yi recorded in "Jing Chu Sui Sui Ji" that people at that time would greet each other on the first day of the first lunar month.  .  At that time, greetings were mainly carried out within family members.

After the Tang Dynasty, the object of greetings was no longer limited to the family, and New Year greetings gradually developed into a ceremonial behavior with social significance.  

The bureaucratic dignitaries and literati of the Song Dynasty highly praised the New Year's Etiquette.  However, it was not until the Ming and Qing Dynasties that the New Year's Etiquette developed into a festive etiquette shared by the whole people.

Since the Song Dynasty, every New Year's greeting, some officials, eunuchs and scholars have sent servants to visit friends on behalf of their masters with "name thorns".  The so-called "name thorn" is also called "red post", just like the business card of today, but it is much larger than the size of the business card.  

Because the "New Year's card" has to rush around with the servants, it is also called "Flying Post".  On the fly post not only the owner's name and identity, but also New Year's greetings, such as "The world's new year changes, the stars return in the sky, congratulations to Xinqi Yeji, Tanzhi Zengxiang" and so on.

At that time, greeting New Year with business cards was very popular among the gentry.  Wen Zhengming's "New Year's Greetings" poem of the Ming Dynasty said: "I don't want to meet, but to pass the word. Famous papers are coming to my house. I also throw a few papers with others. The world is too simple and not too empty." 

It means: don't ask to meet, but want to pass.  "Red Posts" express greetings, and my room is filled with warm greetings. I also follow the world and send famous posts to people. People in the world think that although flying New Year greetings is simple, the etiquette for expressing friendship is not empty.

It can be seen that "business card New Year's greetings" was extremely popular in ancient times.  During the Chinese New Year in ancient times, every scholarly family would stick a red paper bag in front of the door with the letter "Funaji" written on it, that is, the red paper business card used for New Year's greetings;  Take the "New Year's card" into the house and insert it into the wall-mounted storage letter bag in the central hall.  

Most of the storage letter bags are sewn with cotton cloth and are divided into upper and lower rows. Because the cloth pockets are shallow, one-third of the "business card" will be exposed, which is very eye-catching.  Of course, the main family is also consciously or unintentionally using this to show the visitors that their family has a wide range of friends and is very popular.  This also reflects the show-off mentality of the master's "dignitaries in front of people".

There were many other names for the business card of the ancients, such as the name, the name, the famous post, the post of worship, etc., until the end of the Qing Dynasty, it was renamed the business card, commonly known as "film" or "post".  In terms of the content and functions it carries, it is not inferior to today's business cards, and it also functions as a postcard and a New Year's card.  

Whether it is a greeting post, an invitation post, or a request post, all use business cards as the carrier.  Therefore, in ancient times, business cards could not only report to the family, but also post New Year's greetings and information. Therefore, it is not an exaggeration to characterize business cards as "universal posts".

in Chinese painting, After the New Year's greetings at home, people will go out to pay New Year's greetings to their elders or superiors outside.  Of course, it is very likely that when you arrive at the door of the other party, the 

other party also goes out to pay New Year's greetings to others. In this case, people who come to pay New Year's greetings often leave a note with their name on it and a few words of congratulations.  This is the New Year's Eve.

In contrast, the rules in the palace are much more complicated.  On the first day of the first lunar month, officials must dress neatly and go to the palace early in the morning to pay New Year's greetings to the 

emperor, and women who are ordered to go to the palace to pay New Year's greetings to the queen.  As we all know, after Zhu Yuanzhang established the Ming Dynasty, he divided his sons into vassal kings, and made them stationed in all parts of the country.  

So on the first day of the first lunar month, the princes in other places will personally lead the people from the palace to Beijing to celebrate.  The prince could not enter the capital without an edict. If the emperor did not order, they would send a representative to the capital to congratulate him.

After all these people congratulate the emperor, there will be a banquet in the palace. In fact, it is very tired at this time.  Not only that, after the banquet in the palace, the princes and nobles will take turns to set up a banquet.  Although this has a very festive 

atmosphere, it is really tiring to spend a new year.  Just like when we visit relatives and friends during the Chinese New Year, if you are asked to run around every day to attend a banquet, you will inevitably feel very tired, and sometimes you want to stay at home instead.


Customs such as paying New Year’s Eve and drinking spring wine have long existed during the Chinese New Year, which can be traced back to the Western Zhou Dynasty;  It is said that the ancients not only knelt down to pay homage to the New Year, but also popular "flying stickers"!  Let's take a look at the "great attention" of the ancients for Chinese New Year!

Every household must clean the environment, clean all kinds of utensils, remove and wash the bedding and curtains, and sweep the Liulu courtyard.

Every year before the 28th day of the twelfth lunar month, the house is cleaned inside and outside to meet the God-given New Year's grain. Year after year, the custom of sweeping dust during the Spring Festival has been passed down from generation to generation.

In the homes of ordinary people, on New Year's Eve, family members gather to celebrate the New Year's Eve, feast and drink together, and stay up all night to welcome the arrival of the New Year.  

In Meng Haoran's "New Year's Eve with Presence", the phrase "every family should not lie down" reflects the prevailing custom of keeping the year old at that time.  At midnight, firecrackers are set off to drive away the "hungry ghosts".  

"To keep the year old and burn more bamboo, do not cover the door all night", "close the door at the beginning of the night, and set fire to the morning", these verses describe the custom of people lighting candles at home on New Year's Eve at that time.

Tang Dynasty in Chinese painting, after the Spring Festival blessing each other, women still had the custom of listening to the mirror on New Year's Eve. Women listened to the mirror in order to foretell the return date of their 

husbands or the period when they achieved fame.  In Wang Jian's "Mirror Listening Ci", "the mirror is heavily rubbed upon marriage, and the husband-in-law listens to the mirror when he travels far away", which reflects the custom of women's mirror listening.

The custom of keeping the year on New Year's Eve developed into the Song Dynasty, and was also called dividing the year.  The custom of dividing the year by year was prevalent throughout the country during the Northern Song Dynasty.  

There is also a saying, "Keep your Lord Dong's life long, and keep your Sui Niang's life long".  The filial sons and daughters kept a watch all night in order to prolong the life of their parents.  It can be seen that in the ancients, keeping the year old has the meaning of increasing blessings and longevity for parents. 

Nowadays, people send a text message or make a phone call even as New Year's greetings, but the ancients' New Year's greetings are not so casual, which can be said to be very particular.

In ancient times, if there were too many relatives and friends in the neighborhood, it was difficult to visit the door, so they sent servants to bring business cards to pay New Year's greetings, which was called "Fei Tie".  For the purpose of carrying the flyer.  This custom began in the upper classes of the Song Dynasty.  

The Qing Dynasty's "Yantai Yueling" described the Beijing New Year's Festival: "It is the moon, the film is flying, and the car is empty." It has become a fashion.  Presenting New Year cards and New Year cards during the Spring Festival so far is the legacy of sending flying messages to each other in ancient times.

Around the time of the Qing Dynasty, New Year's greetings were added in the form of "group worship". In the "Side Hat Yu Tan", Master Yilan of the Qing Dynasty said: "At the beginning of the year, the capital is a regular group worship, to unite the new year and to strengthen the nostalgia",  "Every year, the book is red to book guests, eat and drink banquets, and have fun every day."

Every Spring Festival greetings, elders usually prepare lucky money for the juniors.  This custom originated from the Han Dynasty and has been passed down to the present, and has become a unique Chinese New Year culture.  However, the "New Year's money" of ordinary people in ancient times was not real money, but something like amulets.

in Chinese painting, Lunar New Year money originated in the Han Dynasty, and is also known as depositing new year money, pressing Xun money, pressing Sheng money, etc. It became popular during the Han, Wei and Six Dynasties.  According to legend, 

every New Year's Eve in ancient times, there was a little demon named "Xiao" who played tricks on the young children at home. The children were often frightened and cried and fell ill.  There is a couple who have a child in old age as a treasure. On the night of the 30th year, in order to prevent the "hack" from hurting their son, the mother wrapped eight 

copper coins in red paper and placed it under the child's pillow.  When "Xiao" appeared, he was scared away by the red envelopes of copper coins.  Because "sui" has the same pronunciation as "sui", which means to be troubled, the new year is equal to the trouble, and the name of lucky money has also spread.

Lunar New Year money in ancient times was not a currency that circulated on the market, but was used as a lucky item or something similar to a coin used to ward off evil spirits.  Most of the New Year's coins in the Han Dynasty have round holes and round square holes. The front of the coins is generally cast with 

auspicious words such as "Long live for thousands of years", "Peace in the world", "Removal of disasters and evil", "Fu Shan and Shou Hai"; on the back are the Big Dipper seven stars.  , dragon and phoenix, turtles and snakes, Pisces, swords, stars and other auspicious patterns.

Ordinary people's households use this kind of coin-like object as their New Year's money. The New Year's money issued by large families in ancient times is a serious "gold ingot" - gold and silver coins, similar to the current gold bars and silver bars.

 In "A Dream of Red Mansions", gold and silver scorpions are mentioned many times.  In the fifty-third "Ningguo Mansion New Year's Eve Festival at the Ancestral Hall Rongguo Mansion Lantern Festival", among the needle money gifts that Ning Mansion You prepared to give to Jia Mu of Rong Mansion, there was "a bag of broken gold, a total of one hundred and fifty-three taels.  There are six coins and seven cents, and the quality of the inside varies. There are more than 220 pieces in total. There are plum blossoms, crabapples, pen ingots Ruyi, and Babao Lianchun."

 Are the ancient Chinese people paying more attention to New Year's greetings than our modern people?  And this custom has continued to this day.


Lin Lan Calligraphy and Painting: 100 Episodes of Ancient Customs in Chinese Paintings (Episode 1: Burning Firecrackers) 

Lin Lan Calligraphy and Painting: 100 Episodes of Ancient Customs in Chinese Paintings (Episode 2 : place to teach musical instruments)



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