jiaozi | Ancient Chinese Culture

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Sedan Chair – Jiaozi

Sedan chair, also called Jiaozi in Chinese, is a traditional Chinese transportation vehicle that carried by at least two bearers. Actually, it is a movable chair or bed which is installed on two bars.

Sedan chair has a long history for more than 4000 years in China. It is said that it originated in the early Xia Dynasty (2033B.C?-1562B.C?). In Tang Dynasty (618~907), except the Emperor and Empress, no one was allowed to use it. During the Southern Song Dynasty (1127~1279), it gradually became a common mode of transportation for persons of all ranks.

Most sedan chairs are made of wood, bamboo, rattan, etc. According to the purposes, they are classified into different types, such as the official sedan chair, civilian sedan chair, wedding sedan chair, etc. They can be lifted by two persons, four persons, eight persons or even sixteen persons.

Nowadays, sedan chairs are still can be easily found in tourist attractions. In some mountain areas, especially in Jiangsu and Zhejiang Provinces, they still function as a traditional transport vehicle for carrying tourists.

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The Jiaozi, or Chinese dumpling, is the traditional Chinese food with a history of more than 1,000 years in China. In ancient times, people always ate dumplings on Chinese New Year’s Day.

In Chinese culture, Jiaozi symbolizes wealth or riches as the shape of Jiaozi resembles that of ancient gold and silver ingots, which were used as money in ancient China. What’s more, people eat it with the wish for a year of abundance as its shape also resembles that of the crescent moon.



Ancient Chinese placed actual coins in it and they believed that whoever found the coins would enjoy prosperity and good luck in the coming year.

Nowadays, it becomes a kind of food which is popular all the year round. It is also widely popular in East Asia, North America, etc.

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