In pictures of Chinese festival celebrations, red paper lanterns are always numerous and fanciful. Ever wonder how the patterns in the lanterns came to be? Yu’s Garden Chinese Restaurant in Glen Ellyn would like to introduce you to the art form of “paper cutting. “ Paper cutting has been around since the Eastern Han Dynasty from about 5 AD. Paper was invented during this dynasty by Cai Lun closely followed by the art of cutting it into designs.
Paper cutting became so embedded in the Chinese culture that women in the courts were judged by the ability to cut intricate designs into the paper. These designs were then used as window decorations and also as patterns for embroidery and lacquer art. Today the art is still widely used for the decorating of doors, windows and paper lanterns during the numerous festivals of China. They are also given as gifts during the festivals.
The designs can be anything from the simple Chinese character symbolizing health or happiness, to intricate designs of people and scenery. It is traditional to place the Xi (囍) symbol on the doors and windows of a newly married couple’s abode, symbolizing happiness. Consequently, it is considered proper to place the Shou (寿) character on the door of an elderly person’s birthday as it symbolizes longevity. Other characters are used as well Fú (福) being the one that is commonly seen during the Spring Festival as it represents good fortune.
At Yu’s Garden Chinese Restaurant in Glen Ellyn we love to celebrate the artistic endeavors of our homeland. Come in today and see the paper cuttings that we have in our restaurant. Enjoy our freshly made meals while absorbing the different aspects of our culture. Call (630)439-1535 or visit our website to see our menu and place a take-out or delivery order.