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冬至大如年,九九消寒图数九盼春归

Updated: Dec 22, 2023

The Winter Solstice is as significant as the New Year.

Introducing the elegant winter ritual - "The Nine-Nine Cold-Dispelling"



中国的北方,大雪,如约而至。

不期然间,天气一日冷过一日,12月22日,2023年的冬至到了


为了迎接冬至的到来,

我们特别以木版水印技法纯手工制作了九九消寒图

效仿古人寒冬数九,静待春归。


在古代,冬至是二十四节气中非常重要的节气。因为从冬至开始,宣告正式进入一年中最冷的日子,也是天地阴气渐弱,阳气渐强,下一个循环的开始。


《后汉书》中记载:“冬至,阳气起,君道长,故贺。” 

古人认为冬至的重要性不亚于新年,需要庆贺以迎接新的开始。所以在民间有“冬至大如年”的说法。


为了记录和消磨这段时光,古人从冬至开始计数寒天,也就是常说的数九。

从冬至那天算起,以九天为一个时间节点,连数九个九天,当数完九九共八十一天,也就意味着冬去春来,万物复苏。


为了方便数九,古人发明了九九消寒图,为这段枯燥寒冷的时光平添雅趣。民间九九消寒图花样繁多,最常见的有画九和数九两种形式。画九便是点九九八十一瓣梅花。明代《帝京景物略》中记载:“日冬至,画素梅一枝,为瓣八十有一,日染一瓣,瓣尽而九九出,则春深矣,曰九九消寒图。”


而我们此次制作的九九消寒图,效仿的是写九的形式。写九是从清代宫廷开始流行的,以九画九字双钩描法的形式创作九九消寒图,尽显才智风雅。

最有名的便是这幅道光皇帝所写“亭前垂柳珍重待春风”

《清稗类钞》中记载:“宣宗御制词,有‘亭前垂柳,珍重待春风’二句,句各九言,言各九画,其后双钩之,装潢成幅,曰九九消寒图,题‘管城春满’四字于其端。南书房翰林日以阴晴风雪注之,自冬至始,日填一画,凡八十一日而毕事。”

上面所题“管城春满”四字,很多人一直不明白什么意思。

管城子是古代毛笔的别称。韩愈在《毛颖传》中以笔拟人,提到蒙恬伐中山,俘捉毛颖,后来秦始皇封毛颖为“管城子”,也称“管城君”。后世沿袭以“管城子”、“管城君”或“毛颖”代指毛笔。

管城春满,寓意以毛笔将九字填满,笔满春亦满。



亭前垂柳珍重待春风

九个字,

每字九笔,

每笔代表一天,

每字代表一个九。

每过上一天,便填上一笔。

待填满九个字,便代表度过了这九九八十一天。

亭前垂柳,静待春风习习。


我们此次制作的冬至九九消寒图,是纯手工由匠人历时一个月的时间,一刀一刀在木版上刻制,再一张一张拓印而成。木版水印制作的九九消寒图,不只可以体会古人数九的风雅情趣,也可以感受到木版水印技法的刀味、木味和水味。


云母宣上印单色朱红线稿双钩描法的九字,吉祥喜庆。

再搭配上黑色纸质画框,古朴又热烈。



从冬至这天开始,提起毛笔沾满朱砂墨,每天一笔来数九。

待填满九十九八十一笔,冬天就随着这一笔一划过去了,春天便来了。

就好像这年底的时光,所有的寒冷和不如意,

都将随着这一笔一划过去,温暖和快乐一定会如期而至。



Chuanmener Arts & Crafts

串门儿动手体验

欢迎下载冬至九九消寒图,尝试古人的雅趣吧!





The Winter Solstice is as significant as the New Year.

Introduction of "The Nine-Nine Cold-Dispelling"


In the north of China, heavy snowfall arrives. Like most part of the Northern Hemisphere , the weather becomes colder day by day, finally we welcome our shared 2023 Winter Solstice - December 22.


To welcome the arrival of the Winter Solstice, we have specially handcrafted a 'Nine-Nine Cold-Dispelling Chart' using woodblock printing techniques, imitating the ancient practice of counting through the coldest winters in anticipation of spring.

In ancient times, the Winter Solstice was a very important solar term among the twenty-four lunar terms. For past thousands of years, it marks the beginning of the coldest days of the year, where the yin energy weakens and the yang energy strengthens, signaling the start of a new cycle.


In The 'History of Later Han Dynasty' records: 'On the Winter Solstice, the yang energy rises, and the path of the monarch grows, hence it is celebrated.' ("History of the Later Han" is a Chinese historical text that chronicles the history of the Eastern Han dynasty from 25 to 220 AD. It was compiled by the historian Fan Ye in the 5th century during the Southern Dynasties period, specifically during the Liu Song Dynasty (420–479 AD).


The Chinese ancients believed that the importance of the Winter Solstice was comparable to the New Year and deserved celebration to welcome the new beginning. Therefore, there was a popular saying among the people that 'the Winter Solstice is as significant as the New Year.'


To record and pass the time, the ancients started counting the cold days from the Winter Solstice, also known as 'counting the nines.'


Starting from the day of the Winter Solstice, each nine-day period is a marker, and counting nine such periods in succession makes a total of eighty-one days. This signifies the end of winter and the arrival of spring, with everything rejuvenating.

To facilitate counting the nines, the ancients invented the 'Nine-Nine Cold-Dispelling Chart,' adding elegance to this otherwise dreary and cold period. There are various forms of these charts in folklore, with the most common being drawing nines and counting nines.


Drawing nines involves painting eighty-one plum blossom petals. The 'Brief Description of the Capital's Scenery' from the Ming Dynasty records: 'On the Winter Solstice, paint a bare plum branch with eighty-one petals, dyeing one petal each day, and when all petals are dyed, it signifies that the nine nines have passed, and spring is deep, hence called the Nine-Nine Cold-Dispelling Chart.'

The Nine-Nine Cold-Dispelling Chart we made this time is in the style of writing nines, which became popular in the Qing Dynasty's court. It involves creating the chart in the form of double-hook strokes for writing the character 'nine,' showcasing intelligence and elegance.


九九消寒图The Nine-Nine Cold-Dispelling by 月山夕
九九消寒图The Nine-Nine Cold-Dispelling by 月山夕

The most famous is the one written by Emperor Daoguang (born Sept. 16, 1782, Beijing, China—died Feb. 25, 1850, Beijing), the sixth emperor of the Qing Dynasty of China -


"The willow tree in front of the pavilion, patiently awaiting the spring breeze"

Nine characters,

Each character with nine strokes,

Each stroke representing one day,

Each character representing a cycle of nine days.

With each passing day, one stroke is filled in.

When all nine characters are filled, it signifies the passing of the ninety-nine cold days.

The willow tree in front of the pavilion, quietly awaits the gentle spring breeze.


The Nine-Nine Cold-Dispelling Chart we have created this time is handcrafted by artisans over the course of a month, meticulously carving each stroke into the woodblock, and then printing it sheet by sheet. The woodblock printed Nine-Nine Cold-Dispelling Chart not only lets one experience the ancient elegance of counting the nines but also the essence of the woodblock printing technique, with its blade, wood, and water flavors.



Starting from the day of the Winter Solstice,

pick up the brush, dip it in cinnabar ink, and count the nines with one stroke each day.

When all ninety-nine eighty-one strokes are filled, winter passes with each stroke, and spring arrives.

Just like the time at the end of this year, all the coldness and disappointments,

Will pass with each stroke, and warmth and happiness will surely arrive on schedule.

Come and join us in dispelling the cold of the nines!"


Chuanmener Arts & Crafts

Welcome to download and try out the ancient fun yourself!




 

冬至Winter Solstice

2023年12月22日

December 22nd, 2023


“冬至大如年” 对于中国人来说,除了农历新年,冬至是最重要的传统节日之一。

"Winter Solstice, as Grand as New Year" : in the Chinese tradition, aside from the Lunar New Year, it is one of the most important traditional festivals.


冬至是农历二十四节气之一,其起源与中国人的阴阳观念有关。它标志着一年中晚间时间最长的一天。在这一天,阴的寒冷达到最强烈,但也同时象征着阳的温暖和光明将逐渐取代阴的极寒。因此,冬至是一个象征和谐与平衡的欢乐时刻。

As one of the twenty-four Chinese Lunar solar terms, Winter Solstice's origin is tied to the Chinese concept of Yin & Yang. It marks the day with the longest nighttime hours in the year. With thousands of years, people believe that on this day, the Yin's coldness is at its strongest, but it also symbolizes the gradual replacement of Yin's extreme coldness by the warmth and brightness of Yang. Thus, Winter Solstice is a joyful moment symbolizing harmony and balance. In wester culture, this date refers to the shortest day and longest night of the year in the Northern Hemisphere when the sun is at its lowest daily maximum elevation in the sky.


"阴阳"(yīn yáng)是中国哲学和宇宙观的基本概念。它代表了存在的二元性质,具有互补和对立的特质。

  • "阴"(yīn)代表着女性、被动、黑暗、寒冷和接受性质的自然和宇宙方面。它常与月亮、黑暗和静止等特质相关联。

  • "阳"(yáng)代表着男性、积极、明亮、炎热和主动性质的自然和宇宙方面。它常与太阳、光明和运动等特质相关联。

"阴阳"的概念深植于中国传统思想,用于解释生活中各个方面,如健康、自然和宇宙等对立力量的相互作用和平衡。它是许多中国哲学体系的核心,包括道教和传统中医学,在这些体系中,实现"阴"和"阳"之间的平衡被认为对健康和和谐至关重要。



"阴阳" (yīn yáng) is a fundamental concept in Chinese philosophy and cosmology. It represents the dualistic nature of existence, with complementary and opposing qualities.

  • "阴" (yīn) represents the feminine, passive, dark, cold, and receptive aspects of nature and the universe. It is often associated with qualities like the moon, darkness, and stillness.

  • "阳" (yáng) represents the masculine, active, bright, hot, and assertive aspects of nature and the universe. It is often associated with qualities like the sun, light, and movement.

The concept of "阴阳" is deeply rooted in traditional Chinese thought and is used to explain the interplay and balance of opposing forces in various aspects of life, such as health, nature, and the cosmos. It is central to many Chinese philosophical systems, including Taoism and Traditional Chinese Medicine, where achieving balance between "阴" and "阳" is considered essential for well-being and harmony.

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