Paper Cuts, a Chinese New Year Decoration, are an integral part of China's New Year Festivities and have been so for thousands of years. They consist of a piece of red paper that is cut into intricate designs and patterns using a knife or a pair of small scissors. Many pieces of paper are cut at the same time so that they can be quickly produced.
In the past glass was not available in China, so paper was used in windows. The paper cuts were glued onto the paper and the light shining through the window would light them up beautifully. Traditionally paper cuts were created by the women of the family. They would sit together chatting while creating them.
Paper Cuts were originally simple in design. Gradually, the art form of paper cutting has been revived and now can become extremely complex. Some are so beautiful that they are not pasted on windows, but framed and enjoyed for years. Some paper-cutting masterpieces have been included in museum collections. Bringing a pair of paper cuts to your loved ones would be a lovely end to your Xi'an tours.
Where to Appreciate Paper Cutting
If you like to appreciate Chinese paper cutting art, in particular how it is cut, during a China Tour, you should visit northern China, especially the rural area, where paper cutting originated. The following three destinations are most recommended:
Huxian County is the best place to see paper cutting for sophistication.
1. The fork artists of paper cutting in Huxian are renowned in China. In Huxian, you will see some of the most sophisticated paper cuttings.
2. In the meantime, the peasant paintings in Huixian are regarded as the best in China. So you can appreciate two great folk arts in one place.
3. Huxian is easy to access as it is only 40 km southwest of Xi'an City which is a must-go destination in China for Terracotta Warriors and spectacular historic relics.
Ancient city Pingyao is highly recommended for the enhanced cultural experience.
1. Pingyao is a perfectly preserved example of a Chinese ancient city and traditional culture. Visiting Pingyao Ancient City is like stepping back in time.
2. Not only fork artists, but also many traditional housewives in Pingyao can cut paper cuts well.
Beijing is recommended for convenience.
For most tourists, Beijing is likely to be the first or last stop in China.
Even if you are short of time, it is still possible to have a half-day Hutong tour in Beijing. Many traditional families living in Hutong can do paper cutting well. You can ask your tour guide to arrange a demonstration for you.
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