Color Lantern | Foshan ICH · Charming Lingnan
Foshan China 2023-01-23 15:43

As one of the important origins of Lingnan culture, Foshan has many cultural symbols. The intangible cultural heritages in Foshan like the famous Cantonese opera, paper cutting, wood engraving pictures, Canton embroidery still shine brightly with the preservation of generations of inheritors after so many years.

From this January, Foshan News Network will present a new series of Foshan ICH • Charming Lingnan. Foshan national intangible cultural heritages will be introduced to people all over the world through pictures and English descriptions, displaying the charm of traditional Foshan culture.

Foshan color lantern was listed as the second batch of national intangible cultural heritage projects. Also called lantern color, it is one of the main schools of Chinese traditional color lantern arts.

Large Foshan color lantern

During the Ming and Qing Dynasties, with the development of Foshan’s commodity economy, folk art competitions were organized by people on their own initiative. Among them, the “Lantern Fair” in the form of parades to showcase folk color lanterns was very popular.

Large Foshan color lantern

Since then, color lantern developed into an industry and became an important handicraft sold in Foshan and abroad.

The Foshan Folk Art Research Association established in 1956 passed on and developed the craftsmanship of color lantern until today.

Fish and dragon dance—Cultural Arts Exhibition of ICH

Color lantern has three characteristics. Firstly, it has various types including the starring lantern, character story group lantern, colorful dragon lantern, Lantern Festival lantern, Mid-Autumn Festival lantern in various shapes and specifications.

Secondly, it has diverse themes. Featured by festive harvest, auspicious luck and drama characters, color lantern is ornamented by Foshan’s unique copper-lined paper-cut, with various patterns, bright colors and exquisite craftsmanship.

Thirdly, there are hundreds of decorative patterns. Color lantern is handmade by craftsmen. Its contents and form come from folk creations, such as dragon, fish, phoenix, mandarin ducks, bats, kylin, lotus, peony, and other symbols of good luck and joyful harvest.

Author | May

Revisor | Eleanor