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The history and revival of ancient Chinese hanfu: a visual guide | SCMP Graphics

๐ŸŒˆ Abstract

The article discusses the recent rise in popularity of traditional Chinese clothing, known as hanfu, in mainland China. It provides an overview of the hanfu fashion trend, including the reasons for its growing popularity, the occasions where hanfu is worn, and the differences between hanfu, hanbok (Korean traditional costume), and the Japanese kimono.

๐Ÿ™‹ Q&A

[01] Occasions where hanfu is worn

1. What are the main occasions where hanfu enthusiasts wear the traditional outfits?

  • Day-to-day use: Grocery shopping, commuting, meeting friends
  • Hanfu gatherings: An opportunity to connect people who share a passion for hanfu
  • Travel and photo taking
  • Traditional Chinese festivals
  • Special occasions like weddings

[02] Defining hanfu

1. What is the meaning of the term "hanfu"?

  • Hanfu (ๆผขๆœ) literally means "Chinese Han people's clothing". It is a term used to describe the traditional clothes worn by the Han people, the dominant ethnic group in China.

2. What is the debate around the term "hanfu"?

  • Some scholars prefer the term "Huafu" (่ฏๆœ), as "Hua" (่ฏ) represents the Chinese nation, including all 56 of its ethnic groups.
  • There is an ongoing controversy over whether hanfu is the origin of hanbok, the traditional Korean costume.

[03] Differences between hanfu, hanbok, and kimono

1. What are the unique features of hanfu, hanbok, and the Japanese kimono?

  • Each type of traditional attire has distinctive design elements, historical origins, and cultural significance unique to their respective countries.

2. What is the common misconception about ancient Chinese clothing?

  • There is a common misconception that ancient Chinese clothing was bulky and heavy, but many traditional clothes, especially those made of silk, were designed to be lightweight and comfortable.

3. What was the importance of proper decorum in wearing hanfu in ancient Chinese society?

  • Putting on hanfu with proper decorum was important as it was a way to distinguish social roles. Rules on how to wear, fold, and tie garments were followed meticulously to project an image of grace, modesty, and respect.
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