Fai Chun. Votive Papers Offer – 2021.01.28
The Rui Cunha Foundation opens the Gallery doors next Thursday, on January 28, 2021, for the traditional “Fai Chun – Votive Papers Offer” event, where the public may come and collect their Chinese calligraphy messages of good luck, free of charge, from 10:00am to 4:00pm.
The population is invited to enter and choose their best wishes for good luck and prosperity, under the guidance of 28 local master calligraphers – such as Ung Choi Kun, Ng Pio (Yum Fung Chan), Yum Wing On, Yuen Wai Sang, Ho Lai Sim and others –, who will be present throughout the day, under the celebrations of the Chinese Lunar New Year of the Ox.
As in previous years, this is a very popular event, co-organized by the Rui Cunha Foundation and the Association of Poetry Friends of Jardim da Flora.
Fai Chun (揮 春) is a traditional decoration, often used during the Chinese New Year, which also marks the arrival of the spring season. In English it can be translated as Spring Wave. People put the Fai Chun on the doors to create a festive and joyful atmosphere, as the calligraphic phrases mean good luck and prosperity. Typically, Fai Chun papers were written by hand, but printed versions are now more common and mass produced to be sold. They can be square or rectangular and hung vertically or horizontally, usually in pairs. Not only do they exist in China, but also in Korea, Japan and Vietnam.
Traditional Fai Chun are red in color, with black or gold characters inscribed in a brush. Similar to the color of fire, red was chosen to scare the legendary ferocious beast “Nian”, who devoured the crops of the villagers, the cattle and even the peasants themselves on New Year’s Eve. Hence the tradition of protecting homes with the best cheerful wishes for the year to come.
2021 is the Year of the Metal Ox, which begins on February 12, 2021 (first day of the Chinese New Year) and lasts until January 31, 2022. The Ox is the second sign in the 12-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac. Oxen or buffaloes were essential work tools in agricultural societies of the past and they represented symbols of diligence, persistence and honesty. In Chinese culture, the Ox is a faithful friend who has made great contributions to the country’s economic and social development. Like the oxen, people born in their year are hardworking, cautious, have a firm faith and are always willing to help.
Under this spirit of celebration, hoping for a better and prosperous year, the Rui Cunha Foundation Gallery invites the public to come by, throughout the day, and choose their message of good fortune. Pick up a pair of Fai Chun to put on your doorstep and greet the arrival of the Year of the Ox!
Admission is free.
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