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Fork Stories from Lunar Year Pictures


​What is Lunar Year Picture?

Lunar Year Pictures (年画Nián Huà​​) is a Chinese folk painting, which is often displayed inside a residential house or at the gate during the Spring Festival. The production method is usually wood engraving and then rubbing and coloring, but some are just hand-painted. It carries stories from generation to generation for thousands of years, especially stories about Chinese Gods for generations.  

年画(Nián Huà)是一种中国民间绘画,是春节期间在私人住宅内或大门口展示的版画。制作方式通常是木质版刻后拓印上彩,但也有一些只是手绘。 它承载着千百年来世代相传的故事,尤其是关于中国神灵的故事。

Fire Crackers

Gallery of various Door Gods


Sichuan Mianzhu


Sichuan Fengxiang


Sichuan Mianzhu champion


Yùchí Gōng & Qín Qióng

Craftsmanship oLunar New Year Picture







Woodblock New Year pictures have a long history in China. They first appeared in the Song Dynasty and have a history of more than a thousand years. There are many schools of woodblock New Year pictures in China, which can be divided into woodblock coloring, half-printed and half-painted, pure hand-painted, and other methods in terms of production techniques.

This time we experienced the technique of half-printing and half-painting, from drafting, composition, drawing, printing, plate rubbing, engraving, plate washing, paper embellishment, plate revision, color testing, calendering, every detail in our hands Each ink painting has gone through more than ten processes before it is made. The difference from the colored New Year pictures is that we need to manually color in order to complete the work in the later stage of the drawing.

The color usage habits of Chinese woodblock New Year paintings have their own characteristics in different regions, but the overall color is basically black plus five to six kinds of color pigments. The commonly used colors are scarlet, gamboge and grass green, supplemented by pink, purple, blue, and so on.


​Although the traditional technique is half-printing and half-painting, we don’t have to stick to the form in our creative process. We can boldly try to use a single color for flat painting to create our unique style.


Start to Make Your Own

Experience it yourself. It's easy and fun! 自己动手迎大神儿!

Option1: Color Version
Download, Print, and Post directly 



Hebei Wuqiang Whip Mace DoorGod (Qín Qióng )_Colored


Hebei Wuqiang Whip Mace DoorGod (Yù Chí Gōng)_Colored

Option 2: Self-Craft Version
Download and print the black&white version, then color it yourself!

Get Our Coloring Tips11 了解上色技巧


Hebei Wuqiang Whip Mace DoorGod (Qín Qióng )_BW


Hebei Wuqiang Whip Mace DoorGod (Yù Chí Gōng )_BW

Screenshot 2023-01-19 at 5.45.26 PM.png

佛山文官门神 (左)
Foshan Civilian DoorGod (Left)


Foshan Civilian DoorGod (Right)

Screenshot 2023-01-19 at 5.44.08 PM.png

​Coloring Tips

Tips for coloring black and white manuscripts

Preparation of pigments: Chinese woodblock New Year paintings have different color usage habits in different places, but the overall color is basically black plus five to six kinds of color pigments. The commonly used colors are scarlet, gamboge and grass green, supplemented by pink, purple, blue, and so on.

Coloring: generally follow the principle of light first, then darker, starting from the surface, and then dot, that is, start with light colors such as yellow and pink, and gradually use green, red, blue, and other dark color pigments. In the selection of the image position, start from the important position of the picture, such as the face of the door god. For coloring, you can first
choose a large area of light color flat paint, and after it dries, use dark pigments to color the dots and lines. You can also use a brush to draw the inner or outer outline of the object, and then color it.

​Note: When dealing with color superposition and two-color adjacent positions, be sure to wait for the first applied color to dry before proceeding to the coloring process of the second color, otherwise it is easy to appear the cross-color situation of two colors



  1. 准备颜料:中国木版年画各地色彩使用习惯各有特色,但总体基本都是墨色加五到六种彩色颜料,常用的色彩为大红、藤黄和草绿,辅以粉色,紫色,蓝色等。

  2. 上色:一般遵循先浅再深,先面后点的原则,即先从黄色,粉色等浅色开始上色,逐渐使用绿色,红色,蓝色等深色系颜料。在图像位置选择上,先从画面的重要位置开始画起,如门神的脸部,上色选择可以先选择浅色的大面积平涂,待干透后,用深色颜料进行点线的着色。也可以先用毛笔描画出物体的内部或外部轮廓线,再进行上色。


How-to Apply 更多讲究​

How to choose, post, and even how to deal with the door god is very particular.

How to Choose Your Door God


Door gods can be selected according to your own needs. The meanings are mainly distinguished from the magical instruments held by the door gods and the legends of gods. There are military god or civil god. Most of Military God are army generals with helmets and armor and weapons in hand are used to for exorcising evil and, protecting the safety of the home. Civil servants, fairies or boys, and auspicious beasts in formal attire are mostly Door gods praying for blessings.

​Where to Post


Military general door gods are usually posted on the gate facing the street. In order to suppress ghosts or ominous objects from entering from outside the gate, most of the door gods offered are armed with weapons, and there are no special taboos for other door gods.

How to Post


The door gods should be posted on both sides of the door from the perspective of the person entering the door. In the painting, the door gods face each other as the correct traditional posting method. Most of the folks are ordinary fate gates, and the weapons held by the door gods should be facing backwards to reduce the sharpness. For the fate of the rich and powerful, sticking the weapons held by the door gods to the front will increase the majesty.

How to deal with the ones from last year


The old door gods that have been replaced cannot be discarded at will. The best way to deal with them is to burn them in a clean place instead of throwing them in the trash can, which means "letting go of the old and ushering in the new". If it is not easy to handle on the same day, you can also roll the pattern inward, wrap it in paper and find another time to burn it.

​Friends of chuanmener 串门儿的朋友之


Over the years,

YueShanXi collected Chinese Lunar New Year Pictures from all over China.

By further reviving these arts and crafts,

We wish you could feel their beauty just like time-traveling through our culture.






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