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Lifestyle
PHOTOS: Making Roosters from Chinese Folk Art
Craftspeople celebrate the Year of the Rooster with tailor-made works of art
Edited by Li Fangfang | Web Exclusive

Over the last few weeks, doors have been getting decorated with red banners displaying poetic couplets, and fireworks as well as firecrackers are being sold everywhere. With the fragrance of dumplings filling the air, there is no mistaking it--the whole of China is celebrating the Spring Festival and the coming of the Year of the Rooster (January 28, 2017-February 15, 2018).

Here are some examples:

 

Stamps for the Chinese Year of the Rooster designed by eminent artist Han Meilin (XINHUA)

The set went on sale on January 5. One stamp features a running rooster, while the other displays a hen with two chicks.

Han, 80, who is well known for his paintings and sculptures, said many artists enjoy painting roosters because of their colorful feathers, adding that the bird is the most popular subject for folk paintings in China, according to a report by China News Service.

"The stamps symbolize family harmony," Han said.

 

Chickens cut out of paper by Chang Yangyang (XINHUA)

The 26-year-old Chang made a set of chicken-themed works for the Year of the Rooster. He is now a famous folk craftsman in Mengjin County, central China's Henan Province. His works have won many awards at various competitions.

"I thought paper cutting was interesting when I was a kid. After talking with paper cutting artists at competitions, I realized it is a form of fork art, and got to know more about it," Chang said.

 

Dough sculptures made by Kan Zongqin (XINHUA)

The 61-year-old folk craftsman Kan made hundreds of dough sculptures of the rooster for the Lunar New Year. He can also craft all 12 Chinese zodiac animals and cartoon images.

"This handicraft looks common, but it's our traditional heritage. It should be carried forward and developed," Kan said.

 

Folk craftswoman Jia Shujuan makes a palm-plaited rooster (XINHUA)  

Jia, from Luoyang, central China's Henan Province, made nearly 100 palm-plaited roosters ahead of the Lunar New Year. These crafts are not easily damaged or deformed, which makes them easier to keep.

 

Folk craftswoman Du Yifang makes a rooster for sale (XINHUA)

Du's roosters made of colorful cotton cloth and thread are popular among locals in Yancheng County, east China's Shandong Province.

If you happen to be born in any of the following years: 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, and 2017, then you too have the rooster as your Chinese astrological sign. The Year of the Rooster might just be one of the most important years in your life. (Click here for more fun with puns and chicken on the menu)

Copyedited by Bryan Michael Galvan

Comments to lifangfang@bjreview.com

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