Yu’s New Beijing in Glen Ellyn Presents the Chinese Tradition of the Fan

Perhaps born from the necessity to cool off during hot days, ancient Chinese—mostly women–adopted the art of fanning often using leaves or bird feathers.

Round Chinese fansBut the hand-held fan, as we know it today, it is said to have surfaced about 3000 years ago, made in a circular shape to resemble and honor the full moon. At first, a plain piece of cloth was held between two guards that kept it in place, and a handle at the bottom. However, a calligrapher by the name of Wang Xizhi wrote some meaningful characters on a plain fan with messages with which touched people’s hearts. That changed the role of the fan from a utilitarian tool into a keepsake.

The hand-held fan evolved over the millennia to depict beautiful drawn scenes drawn on them. Other shapes of the fan, such as the pleated version from Japan was introduced during the Ming Dynasty, which could collapse into itself, and was able to be easily carried when not in use. The intricacies of the fan design gave it and those who carried it social status. The fan even took on its own language based on the type of wave and the way in which it was held.

Red Chinese FanToday, the fan continues to be an important element of Chinese culture, often incorporated into traditional dances.

Yu’s New Beijing Chinese Restaurant in Glen Ellyn, Illinois enjoys sharing Chinese culture and traditions with you.

Yu’s New Beijing  serves wholesome Chinese food every day of the week for dining in, to pick up, and for delivery.  For more information, call 630.469.1535.

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