5 things about cheongsam, traditional clothes that are often worn during Chinese New Year

Apart from angpao, Chinese New Year or Chinese New Year is also synonymous with cheongsam. The cheongsam is one of the traditional Chinese women’s clothing. The word Cheongsam itself comes from the Cantonese language, namely Chángshān or 長衫. When translated into Indonesian, Cheongsam means ‘long dress’.

This traditional Chinese women’s clothing actually has a silhouette that fits the body. In addition, the cheongsam also has a closed neckline or high collar. Button accents usually adorn the center or right.

Not just clothing, it turns out that the cheongsam also has a history and meaning behind its use. To get to know more about the cheongsam, here is the WOMAN coil, summarizing some of the facts as quoted from various sources.

1 Known as “qipao”

Quoting Dream Tales, the cheongsam or also known as “qipao” in Mandarin, is a one-piece panel style dress originating from China. The dress worn by this woman is said to have existed since the 17th century Manchu rule.

At that time, the Manchu ruler Nurhaci (1559-1626) used the cheongsam as a marker of the social status of the Manchu people. Each cheongsam also represents a different group of people (ethnic clans associated with marriage, blood, or location).

2 Has a loose shape in the 17th century

The cheongsam dress in the early 17th century was loose and covered most of a woman’s body. So that only the head, hands and feet are exposed.

3 The cheongsam was made popular by celebrities in the 1920s

During the 1920s, the Cheongsam dress became popular with Chinese celebrities and high-class Chinese society. According to the Encyclopedia website, the popularity of the cheongsam in this era is attributed to the development of fashion after the collapse of the Qing Dynasty. In addition, the cheongsam of this period also marked the rise of modern Chinese women in the 20th century.

Cheongsam clothing in the 1920s is said to be more expressive and accentuate the curves of the body. It is said that this is a symbol of modernity and newfound freedom for women. Apart from that, the cheongsam in the 1920s was also made of silk, had long, wide sleeves and was decorated with embroidered floral motifs.

4 Has a wide variety of buttons

Cheongsam is synonymous with a high collar and button accents that adorn the middle or right. In Chinese, the buttons at the bottom of the cheongsam collar are known as pankou.

Citing the Buro247 site, pankou usually consists of three types or forms; namely straight (the straight pankou), simple flowers (simple floral pankou), to complicated (the elobarate pankou). Well, of the three types of buttons, it turns out that there are two types that are mostly found as decorative ornaments in cheongsam, namely the simple floral type and the elobarate pankou.

5 The cheongsam print motif has various meanings

Cheongsam has many types of patterns or motifs. Citing the Buro247 website, each motif or pattern in the cheongsam has a different meaning. For example, the Chinese Phoenix motif, known as fenghuang, symbolizes the union of man and woman. This motif is often found in wedding cheongsam.

In addition, there is also a motif of two cranes that symbolizes double happiness. This motif is most popular and is often found in cheongsam shirts. Finally, there is a dragon motif which has a meaning as a metaphor for strength and luck.

6 thoughts on “5 things about cheongsam, traditional clothes that are often worn during Chinese New Year

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