China Creates a New Holiday to Celebrate Traditional Clothing
China has established a new national holiday to celebrate traditional clothing, also known as huafu.
In a Weibo announcement on April 8, the state-run Communist Youth League announced that the first China Huafu Day will be on April 18, to be organized by video site Bilibili in cooperation with its media arm and Dongjia, an e-commerce platform.
Its first promotional photo has “New Era, New Huafu, New Youth” in bold red characters.
The date was chosen as it coincides with the lunar calendar birthday of the mythical Yellow Emperor, sometimes called Huangdi, who supposedly reigned from 2698 BCE to 2598 BCE — just in time when huafu came to existence.
According to Sixth Tone, the new holiday likely chose huafu instead of hanfu to be more inclusive of China’s 55 ethnic minority groups. Hanfu, the ancient dress of the country’s Han majority, has been the more common term to describe Chinese clothing.
However, some scholars reportedly question its historical accuracy. It was only in 2003 when a “hanfu movement” kicked off and advocates conjured a modern definition of the terminology. It is not listed in the authoritative, one-volume Contemporary Chinese Dictionary.
A complete hanfu garment consists of several pieces of clothing put together.
These include: (1) yi, an open cross-collar garment; (2) pao, a closed full-body garment; (3) ru, an open cross-collar shirt; (4) shan, an open cross-collar shirt or jacket worn over the yi; (5) qun/chang, a skirt worn by both men and women and (6) ku, which are trousers or pants.
The celebration will feature a huafu photo contest, more than 30 huafu brands, and the launch of a photography app that allows users to turn their pictures into huafu-like images.
There will also be talks, a fashion show and a concert to be held in the ancient city of Xi’an in Shaanxi Province.
Wang Jiawen, publicity director at Chonghui Hantang, one of the participating huafu brands, told Sixth Tone that the booming interest is due to the style’s beauty, the youth’s openness and China’s strategy of “cultural confidence.”
Still, he vows to keep the term hanfu.
“The use of ‘huafu’ by this activity won’t influence our support of the concept of hanfu. We firmly believe that hanfu will be acknowledged and accepted by more and more people.”
Many people might not know this, but despite our large and loyal following which we are immensely grateful for, NextShark is still a small bootstrapped startup that runs on no outside funding or loans.
Everything you see today is built on the backs of warriors who have sacrificed opportunities to help give Asians all over the world a bigger voice.
However, we still face many trials and tribulations in our industry, from figuring out the most sustainable business model for independent media companies to facing the current COVID-19 pandemic decimating advertising revenues across the board.
We hope you consider making a contribution so we can continue to provide you with quality content that informs, educates and inspires the Asian community.
Even a $1 contribution goes a long way. Thank you for everyone’s support. We love you all and can’t appreciate you guys enough.