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              Oracle Bone Inscription
              Learn Chinese - History and Culture

                           Oracle Bone Inscription
              Oracle bone inscriptions
              (jiǎ gǔ wén 甲骨文), the earliest Chinese writing scripts, are the ancient Chinese characters carved on tortoise shells and animal scapulas. The oracle bone inscriptions were mainly used for divination and keeping records of events happened in the late Shang Dynasty  (shāng cháo 商朝, 1300 BC - 1046 BC). The bones are invaluable for us to understand the Shang Dynasty.

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              Tang Tricolor Pottery
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                             Tang Tricolor Pottery
              Tang Tricolor Pottery
              (táng sān cǎi 唐三彩), also called Tang Sancai, is a kind of handmade glazed ware of exquisite craftsmanship created in the Northern and Southern Dynasty (nán běi cháo 南北朝, 386-589) about 1,400 years ago. During the Tang Dynasty (táng cháo 唐朝, 618-907), the production of Tang San Cai reached its peak, which is part of the reason the pottery got the name of Tang San Cai. It well reflects the high standards of ceramic art as well as the magnificent and luxurious lifestyle of Tang Dynasty society. It is known for its vivid design, flamboyant color and luster, and rich life ambiance. Luoyang (luò yáng 洛陽), named the eastern capital in ancient times, in Henan Province was the home of Tang San Cai, and most of unearthed Tang San Cai was found in Luoyang.

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              Printing
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              ?????????????? Block Printing & Movable Type Printing
              Movable type printing
              (huózìyìnshuāshù 活字印刷術) is one of the four great inventions in ancient China. Since the invention of paper in Han Dynasty (hàncháo 漢朝), the writing material is more convenient and economic than that of bamboo sheet and silk. However, it costs a lot of time to copy books, because a scholar had to do the transcription word for word if he wanted to own a new book, which cannot meet the demand of the developing society at that time. In the Sui? (suí 隋) and Tang (táng 唐) dynasties, the technology of block printing was invented, and therefore the speed of printing was increased. But when a book was to be printed, many wooden blocks had to be engraved. It wasted a lot of time and need a large quantity of boards. Moreover, the wooden blocks was hard to keep, and it is not easy to correct the mistakes that found in the blocks.

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              Papermaking
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              ?????????????? Bamboo Sheet, Silk, Paper
              Papermaking
              (zàozhǐshù 造紙術) is one of the four great inventions in ancient China. Before papermaking technology was invented, the Chinese carved or wrote caharacters on totoise shells, animal bones, bamboo slices, wooden plates, and thin tough silk. Tortoise shells, animal bones and wooden plates were too heavy to use while silk was too expensive. In the early years of the Western Han Dynasty (xīhàn 西漢) (206 BC – 25AD), someone used hemp and ranie to produce the paper, which was very rough and not suitable for writing.

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              Three Friends in Cold Weather
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              ?? ????? Three Friends in Cold Weather (歲寒三友)
              Pine
              (sōng 松), bamboo (zhú 竹) and plum (méi 梅)have always been regarded by Chinese people as the most beloved plants because they all thrive through the cold-winter days, just like friends who cherish the same ideas welcoming the advent of the spring together. For this very reason, they are called “ Three Friends in Cold Weather (suì hán sān yǒu 歲寒三友)”, symbolizing the noble characters esteened and pursued by Chiese people.

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              Chinese Dragon Boat Festival
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              Dragon Boat Festival

              For all the Chinese people, the traditional Dragon Boat Festival (duān wǔ jié 端午節) is coming on May 28th this year. The Dragon Boat Festival has been one of the most important traditional festivals in China. During the festival, people celebrated it in various ways, even in modern China. After this traditional festival’s added to the schedule of national holidays by the government in 2008, people have much more time to celebrate it with their families, friends, and experience the cultural meaning of this festival.

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