August 30, 2017


Fambe 窑变 [yáo biàn] (lit. kiln-change)

Fambe is a porcelain-making technique used to create beautiful unique and unpredictable patterns. Fambe was originally the result of accidents during firing process - temperature changes in the kiln made the color and even the shape of the porcelain change. In modern practice the process is more controlled, but the aesthetic quality of the beautiful unpredictability remains. 

In ancient times, fambe was literally considered an undesirable accident, and potters couldn't understand the process that led to it, thinking it was caused by evil spirits. This was especially considered unlucky in royal kilns, and fambed porcelains would be destroyed immediately.  In one account recorded in a Song Dynasty (960 - 1279) notebook (清波杂...

August 26, 2017

Qixi Festival(七夕节, also known as Double Seventh Festival), is a traditional Chinese festival that occurs on July 7th of the Lunar Calendar. In 2017, Qixi Festival falls on August 28. 

Qixi Festival is related to a romantic story of Niulang (牛郎) and Zhinü (织女) (wikipedia), and in the recent years this relation turned the festival into a kind of "Chinese Valentine's Day".  But what is the real origin of this festival, and how did people originally celebrate it?

The first recorded origin of Qixi can be traced back to the Han Dynasty (202 B.C. - 220 A.D.), but many people believe that the festival was celebrated even earlier and had its beginnings tied to the original creation of the Lunar Calendar (2698 B.C.) Numerology has a deep significance in Chinese culture, and many Chinese...

August 2, 2017

According to a recent report, there are currently more than 1,100 different types of tea produced in China. This figure seems staggering, but are all these teas really that different from one another? In reality, only a limited number of tea products are widely known throughout China, while many of the lesser-known teas are only produced and consumed locally in small areas. Two similar teas produced in the same area may have two different names in two nearby villages. In addition, tea distributors sometimes change the name of a tea to gain an advantage in the market. From the perspective of tea production techniques, many teas are very similar, so how many types of tea are there really in China?

Before I start, I want you to know that there are s...

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