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Celestial traditions: Chinese costumes and their history

Chinese costumes, otherwise called "Hanfu", are very peculiar, like the culture of the country itself. They differ not only from the usual clothes in Europe, but also from Asian counterparts, albeit a little closer in spirit.

For all the time of the existence of the Celestial Empire, about 56 ethnic groups have formed on its territory, each of which has its own traditions and, of course, clothing styles.

In fact, the Chinese costume is an integral image, formed from individual elements of the outfits of various ethnic groups.

History of appearance

In itself, the emergence of traditional clothing occurred a very long time, a little more than two thousand years BC. E., when the population of the Celestial Empire learned how to make various fabrics of silk, hemp and cotton.

A characteristic feature of the apparel was a cut that was uniform for all classes, and Chinese costumes differed, in fact, only by the quality of the material, by the exquisite patterns and other "decor". At the same time, most of the ceremonial elements developed from everyday dresses, but something, on the contrary, lost its status and passed into general use.

The history of the Chinese costume, which was the prototype of the present, began after the Xinhai Revolution of 1911, overthrown the Qin dynasty. Out of use, the official dresses of the high and middle classes left, the decor of which had symbolic and hierarchical significance. Afterwards, the traditional women's skirt drew into oblivion, making the Chinese costumes little distinguishable from the men's.

All traditional Chinese suits are swinging and are divided into two types according to their design features. Today, Hanfu is worn only for solemn events, but in the Middle Kingdom there are communities that revive this type of clothing.

Types of costumes

The most common type is called "kimono". Its characteristic feature is a fairly simple cut: the shelves and back are made from two sheets of the same length, with a fold in the shoulder line region. Distinguish the kimono from other clothes allow the central seam on the back and the absence of longitudinal on the shoulders, as well as rounded cutouts just below the armpits.

This type of garment is flared with a side seam or additional wedges that make it more spacious. Another recognizable feature is a round neckline and a standing collar, whose height depends on the fashion trends.

Usually the edges of the collar, sleeves and hem are trimmed with silk braid.

The second type of similar clothes practically does not differ from the first, except for presence of longitudinal seams on a humeral line.

In this case, a Chinese folk costume of any type can have both symmetrical and asymmetric cuts, that is, the sides of the shelves either converge to the back, or overlap. In this case, there are also buckles that hold the floor and are located on the right at the base of the neck.

Belt clothing (upper and lower pants) does not differ in cut. It is always straight and without pockets, the pants are wide and connect at an angle of more than 90 degrees. Put on a man, such bloomers can reach the underarms because of an additional strip of fabric - a belt sewn at the waist level.

The shoulder and waist parts of the costume differ in seasonal varieties: the summer does not have a lining, unlike the autumn-spring, the winter one is sewn on quilted cotton wool.

Value of colors

In different nations of the world, the meaning of flowers is customarily interpreted differently, and the Celestial Empire is no exception. Moreover, under the rule of the Zhou Dynasty, the Chinese folk costume showed the social status of its owner in the width of sleeves, the length of the garment and the ornaments.

At that time, the color scheme of the dress was regulated by the rank occupied. So, for example, the imperial family dressed in yellow, warriors - in red and white, and the young wore blue. The dignitaries were intended for brown suits.

The meaning of the shades has been preserved to this day. So, red denotes celebration and success, it is referred to the elements of fire; Yellow - an element of the earth, fertility and prosperity; Blue was more associated with nature, wisdom and unpredictability of the wind, white was associated with cold and metal, therefore it meant death and mourning, and the brown color spoke of the humility and submission of the wearer.

Symbolism of patterns

Female Chinese costumes differed from men's by the presence of skilful patterns with deep meaning. The most popular were the images of a peach (longevity), orchids (knowledge) and peony (wealth).

Embroidery with flowers also symbolized the seasons: plum - winter, peony - the beginning of spring, lotus - summer and chrysanthemum - autumn. Such an interpretation of ornaments has survived to the present day, although here it is not shown completely, as well as a list of possible patterns.

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