These days I've been wondering do we use hand fans at all? My mother is my inspiration again because she uses them all the time. But let’s face it, she is a lady, she could easily be living at court in 17th century. When she visits religious or cultural events or just reads a book at home she’s always using it, it is her trademark, her staple.
What is my trademark, my staple? Do I have it? I don’t know. But do I use hand fans? Do you?
I was at one exhibition the other day and it was enormously hot inside so I bought a hand fan and easily survived one hour and half of gallery browsing. Loved it! Enjoyed it! The exhibition too.
I then had to explore a little bit about hand fans and here is Part 1 - Hand Fans History.
Hand fans are more then five thousand years old. It is believed that hand fans originate from Eastern cultures like Japan or China but they were also depicted as images on many Egyptian and Greek pottery from 4th century BC too. They were used in Christian ceremonies to drive insects away from the bread and wine at the altar. They later vanished until the Crusaders brought them to Europe in 12th century again.
The first Chinese fan was rigid or fixed fan from the 2nd century BC and was used mostly in dancing with different calligraphy and images. The folding fan was invented in Japan between 6th and 9th century.
Soon they invaded the whole East, from China to Korea where the beautiful Korean dance Buchaechum also called a fan dance got developed. A group of female dancers are forming shapes like birds, flowers, waves or butterflies with depicted large hand fans. In Japan they were also used by warriors as a sort of weapon or hiding place for a weapon.
Later on, in 16th century, the Portuguese traders brought them from Japan and China when their popularity increased and remained until nowadays.
How many types of hand fans you know? What was or is their purpose? Do you know that there was a hand fan language developed, so called ‘speaking fan’? How do you say ‘follow me’ or ‘kiss me’?
Read all about it in Part 2 - Hand fans Purpose and Usage and prepare yourself for a little but sweet giveaway treat. If you would like to enter my giveaway draw please reply to this email (email@example.com) with names and email addresses of at least 2 of your friends who would like to get news from GMG (aka ‘me’) and maybe the giveaway surprise could become yours! Good luck!