A Ming design vase, the ancient art of Chinese paper cutting and a paper dragon mask are showcased.
Today we visit the Far East. China is located in eastern Asia and has the largest population of any country in the world with over 1 billion people. We visit China for beautiful symbols of the Chinese New year and traditional Chinese designs. Our first project is a Ming design vase with a surprise source of paper. Ming china is often blue and white and originated during the Ming dynasty. A bamboo pattern is a traditional design. Then, it's time to learn about the art of paper cutting - Chinese style. Chinese paper cutting is an ancient art very much like paper snowflakes. Paper is traditionally cut from red paper with very short scissors. Common patterns are the crescent, arc, and saw tooth. The cuttings are used to decorate doors, windows, mirrors, lanterns, and gifts. They can also be used for patterns for embroidery and lacquer and are meant to bring good luck. The next craft includes two different dragon projects. The first is a paper mask and the second is a dragon dance stick to help celebrate Chinese New Year. When the first new moon enters the sign of Aquarius, farmers and merchants in China perform dragon and lion dances to usher in the New Year. The importance of the dragon dates back to the Han dynasty as a symbol of power and courage.