Fun Facts about Chinese Culture and History

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Tradition of China -- Hair Ornament Culture

Hairpin -- Zan in Chinese Culture

In Neolithic times, Zan was used to fasten and tie hair. Since the disheveled hair was impolite and coarse in ancient tradition of China.


Gradually, the use of hairpin became representative of being an adult. When women turned 15 years old, there would be a Coming of Age Ceremony to put on hairpins and tie the hair up, meaning they were adults and ready to get married. 


Zan could be made of different materials such as bone, stone, pottery, shell, bamboo, timber, horn, jade, copper, silver or gold.


The end of the hairpin was usually decorated with beautiful flowers or lucky animals.  

Double Stringed Hairpin -- Chai

Chai was a type of hair ornament that evolved from Zan, which was also used to fasten and tie hair.


But the most important difference is that Chai has two sticks, which look like two Zans connected together. 


Chai is very frequently used in poems and articles of Chinese culture, for being an important symbol and keepsake of the love.


In Chinese tradition, when a couple had to separate for a while, women usually would split her Chai into two parts, and give one part to her beloved one as a keepsake, until they reunited someday. 

Step Shake -- Bu Yao 

Bu Yao first originated in royal and noble class in history of China around 2,000 years ago, and then was disseminated into the civilian's world.


It has a pendant or fringe, which swings when someone wearing it and walking.


It was mostly made of gold, silver, jade or agate; but now more materials are applied. 

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Comb -- Shu Bi

Shu Bi, originated in about 6000 years ago, was an important hair ornament in the history of China. It was made of ivory, bone, bamboo, timber, horn, silver, gold, jade, compound metal or crystal.


Shu Bi was useful for combing hair and massaging the head, so women stuck Shu Bi in their hair for both convenience and decoration. 

Hua Sheng 

Hua Sheng was documented since about 2000 years ago in the history of China, but the accurate origin is not clear.


It looks flower shaped, usually was worn in front of forehead and sometimes on the hair. 

Mo E

Mo E was originated around 2,200 years ago and used by soldiers on their foreheads. Then about 1,000 years ago, it became an accessory that was worn more by women in Chinese clothing.


Mo E was made of fabric, silk, gold, silver, fur, yarn, etc.; and was decorated with pearl, gem, jade or embroidery. It can be used for both decorating and keeping warm in winter. 

Yan Bin; Ding  Zan; Tiao Xin; Fen Xin

They were both hair decorations that were popularized during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) in the history of China.


The most important difference among them is their positions in the hair. 

Lotus Crown -- Lian Hua Guan

Lotus Crown was originally from Taoism Religion, which only the most powerful and talented masters could wear it.


In about 1,500 years ago, it became popular among women of both noble and civilian families.


It looks like a lotus, though it was a little bit different from the Taoists', and usually was decorated with gold or feather. 


Jin Guo in Tradition of China

Jin Guo was a hair ornament that was made of fabric and decorated with gold, gem or jade.


It originated around 2,200 years ago, when both men and women could wear it.


About 100 years later, it became an accessory for noble women, and then popularized in civilian's world. 

Phoenix Crown -- Feng Guan

Phoenix crown was originally only worn by queens in the history of China. 


It was shaped as gold dragons and phoenixes, and decorated with hundreds of precious gems and thousands of valuable pearls. Chinese Empresses wore it for important events.


About 700 years ago, less luxurious and much simpler crowns appeared, which were worn by many women on their wedding days.