Another class of nianhua was dominated by depicting rich and joyful life during the Chinese New Year. They portray wealthy people with pretty wives and charming children in rich clothing living in luxurious homes, reflecting the aspirations of the ordinary people. Beautiful, rose-checked children symbolise wealth and prosperity.

 

People dressed smartly visiting the homes of one another and greeting the New Year
People dressed smartly visiting the homes of one another and greeting the New Year (拜年).

 

 

Celebration the New Year
Musicians playing drums, gongs, trumpet and cymbals. A child plays with a fish lantern. “Fish (魚)” and “affluence (餘)” are homo-phonetic words.

 

Celebration the New Year
Children playing dragon dance and lion dances.

 

 

A child playing with a toy ox-wagon. He wears a tiger hat.
A child playing with a toy ox-wagon. He wears a tiger hat.

 

 

Acknowledgements :

Patrick would like to thank the authors for their hard work in collating the prints.

Bibliography and further readings :

Maria Rudova, Lev Menshikov, Viacheslav Sobolev, Yurin Kirilin (1988) Chinese Popular Prints, Aurora Publishers, Leningrad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Nianhua (年畫) CNY Part 3 (Celebrations of the New Year)

  1. Thanks for sharing and showing us all the Nianhua Paintings. I enjoy to read all these beautiful paintings. They are very classic and lively. The brush-strokes are very dainty and exquisite. I wonder how the artists could paint all these charming artful paintings.

    Cheers

    Jo

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The occurrence of homophonic words would make for some interesting choices of symbolic subject matter! I would not necessarily put ‘fish’ and ‘affluence’ together as joined references. But interesting to see how “keeping up with the Jones'”, or at the very least class envy, is so widespread and so long lived.

    Liked by 1 person

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