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Home History and Culture Chinese New Year's Couplet (春联)
Chinese New Year's Couplet (春联)
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Chun lian is a special type of Duilian, or couplet. It is used only during the Chinese New Year as part of its celebration. While duilian is permanent, chunlian is a temporary decoration to be placed on the entrance of the house, somewhat akin to Halloween and Christmas decorations.

Duilian comprises of a couplet written on vertical strips of red paper in the best calligraphic style one can muster. In addition, a third horizontal piece may be posted across and on top the door.

Chun lian is written on red paper with ink. Red is a very lucky color for the Chinese, it frightens off the Chinese New Year monster 'Nian' who arrives at this time of year and destroys crops and homes. "Nian" has three weaknesses: it was frightened by noise, sunshine, and the color red. So villagers built fires, set off firecrackers, and painted the doors to their houses red and placed red couplets beside the doors. Red to the Chinese also represents good fortune, fame and riches.

These couplets can be hung outside beside the main door and also inside in important rooms like the kitchen, bedroom and lounge. They are also hung either side of the cooker or hob. They are normally hung for two months after the Chinese New Year although many people leave them all year round for continued good luck.

Hanging Instructions:
Cut the couplets in half from top to bottom and place either side of your main doors, you should also place on either side of your cooker or hob.

If you have access to a laminate machine it would be wise to laminate them or at least wrap them in a clear protective cover, this is more important for outside rather than the ones you hang by the cooker.

These are traditionally left on the door or cooker area for two months after Chinese New Year although many families leave them all year round for continued good luck but they must be renewed each year so save this document for every year and pass onto as many friends and families as you can as it is considered very auspicious to receive a couplet especially without charge.

alt春联俗称“门对对联”“对子”,雅称“楹联”。它以工整、对偶、简洁、精巧的文字描绘时代背景,抒发美好愿望,是我国的文学形式。每逢春节,无论城市还是农村,家家户户都要精选一副大红春联贴于门上,为春节增加喜庆气氛。
春联,起源于桃符(周代悬挂在大门两旁的长方形桃木板)。据《后汉书·礼仪志》说,桃符长六寸,宽三寸,桃木板上书“神荼”、“郁垒”二神。“正月一日,造桃符著户,名仙木,百鬼所畏。”所以,清代《燕京时岁记》上说:“春联者,即桃符也。”
五代时,宫廷里,有人在桃符上提写联语。据《宋史·蜀世家》说:后蜀主孟昶令学士章逊题桃木板,“以其非工,自命笔题云:‘新年纳余庆,嘉节号长春’”,这便是我国的第一副春联。直到宋代,春联仍称“桃符”。王安石的诗中就有“千门万户幢幢日,总把新桃换旧符”之句。宋代,桃符由桃木板改为纸张,叫“春贴纸”。
春节贴春联的民俗起于宋代并在明代开始盛行。据史书记载,明太祖朱元璋酷爱对联,不仅自己挥毫书写,还常常鼓励臣下书写。
到了清代,春联的思想性和艺术性都有了很大的提高,梁章矩编写的春联专著《槛联丛话》对楹联的起源及各类作品的特色都作了一一论述。春联在当时已成为一种文学艺术形式。
春联的种类比较多,依其使用场所,可分为门心、框对、横披、春条、斗斤等。“门心”贴于门板上端中心部位;“框对”贴于左右两个门框上;“横披”贴于门媚的横木上;“春条”根据不同的内容,贴于相应的地方;“斗斤”也叫“门叶”,为正方菱形,多贴在家俱、影壁中。
同时,家家户户都要在屋门上、墙壁上、门楣上贴上大大小小的“福”字。春节贴“福”字,是我国民间由来已久的风俗。据《梦粱录》记载:“岁旦在迩,席铺百货,画门神桃符,迎春牌儿……”;“士庶家不论大小,俱洒扫门闾,去尘秽,净庭户,换门神,挂钟馗,钉桃符,贴春牌,祭把祖宗”。文中的“贴春牌”即是写在红纸上的“福”字。 
“福”字现在的解释是“幸福”,而在过去则指“福气”、“福运”。春节贴“福”字,无论是现在还是过去,都寄托了人们对幸福生活的向往,也是对美好未来的祝愿。民间为了更充分地体现这种向往和祝愿,干脆将“福”字倒过来贴,表示“幸福已到”“福气已到”。

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 February 2011 13:45
 

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