Wednesday, 11 February 2009
The Red Knot
Two of the boxes I sent from China with gifts for family arrived on Monday. I'd forgotten about one of them (perhaps NEXT time, I should keep records of the big boxes that I send!), but it arrived safely anyway and in part it was quite a surprise for me to find the things that I had packed away.
One of my "chops" and the stamp pad arrived - I was looking forward to that so that I could use the other chop that I have. (I'll post about them later.)
The Chinese Monopoly sets arrived, the China dolls for the grandchildren, some of my summer clothes and more of the scarves that students had made, or that I had bought before I knew I was to be inundated with lovely scarves. A few other items were included and some I will write about later, but two items that I had not remembered were two Red Knots.
I have a small collection of them now, but the two in the box are big ones.
First of all, I need to explain that RED is a favourite colour in China. Red lanterns decorate streets and buildings for festivals, especially Chinese New Year or Spring Festival and the last day of that 10 day festivity is Lantern Festival Day. You can read more about the colour red and how it is used here.
My red knots were gifts from students - supposed to bring me good luck and good fortune. I hope they do.
The knots are made with one single piece of red rope - it is an art to be able to do it, and there are many variations of the knot.
Mine have a big knot at the bottom woven with a gold braid, with more red and gold hanging below.
I'm not sure where these will "live" as I do not wish to put them away. They are so bright and colourful and hold so many memories for me that I would like them to be on show, and my office is the perfect spot I think.