English    |    French

News & Updates

  • Women's Equality: Certain Progress & Definite Limits
  • From a recent traveler to the rural farmer's home visit & stay:
  • Guidelines for Guides & Tipping
  • Chinese New Year's Day Taboos
  • December 2015 From Lea Xu & Louie Yi
  • A Trip of a Lifetime
  • Meant to Be
  • I AM ME
  • June Galoph’s Dilemma in China
  • Joining the Game
  • Fun Facts About Pandas
  • Sichuan & Hunan - Some "Spicy" Provinces
  • Hunan Adoptive Families Reunion - Winter 2015
  • Submission Guidelines
  • General terms
  • How each Chinese province got its name
  • Lantern Festival-Start the Year Right!!!
  • How each Chinese province got its name
  • The Internet with "Chinese Characteristics"
  • Jasmine Sings
  • Winter Solstice / Winter Festival / Dongzhi
  • December 2014
  • "Lucky Money" Envelope Giveaway
  • Vancouver B.C. hosts "Journeys Weekend"
  • China's "Singles Day" Sets Worldwide Record
  • China's Ancient Art of Shadow Puppetry
  • Ancient Art:"Soul of the Rice Fields"
  • Let's Finish Funding Wade's School Semester!
  • Marriage and Divorce in China: A Changing Landscape
  • Feminine Ideal Shifts in China's Cultural Evolution
  • Marriage and Divorce in China: A Changing Landscape
  • Terra Cotta Warriors Horses and Museum
  • Bridge
  • Days of Chinese New Year Festival
  • Symbolic Foods for Chinese New Year
  • "Lucky Money" Envelope Giveaway
  • Educational Pressure in China: A Parent's Perspective
  • Hebei Province
  • The Great Wall
  • Sections of the Great Wall
  • 18th Anniversary Reflections:A Journey of Growth
  • Fujian Province
  • One Family's Volunteer Experience
  • Louie Yi -- Wuzhou Orphanage Visit
  • The Eight Major Cuisines of China
  • Anhui Province
  • BEST TIMES TO TRAVEL TO VIETNAM
  • Bicycles in Beijing
  • Jiangsu:"Land of Fish and Rice...."
  • Yunnan Province
  • Differences in a Decade
  • A Family Chinese New Year Holiday in Hainan Island
  • Chinese Chopsticks
  • Jiangxi Province
  • Ask the Expert
  • Henan Province
  • Louie's Tibetan Travels:The Beauty of the Less Traveled Road
  • Louie's Photos & Visit to Jiuzhaigou
  • Search

    Lotus - A trusted name in family travel

    China’s Ancient Art of Shadow Puppetry

    Shadow play, also known as shadow puppetry is an ancient form of storytelling which uses flat figures (shadow puppets) to create cut-out figures which are held between a source of light and a translucent screen or scrim.  Or, sometimes shadow play can refer to various positions of the hand to create certain “figures” appear with intricate and creative hand posturing.   Various effects can be achieved by moving both the puppets and the light source. A talented puppeteer can make the figures appear to walk, dance, fight, nod and laugh.  Shadow puppetry has a long history in Asia and is a popular form of entertainment for both children and adults.

     

    Legend attributes the origin of shadow puppets to 121 BC during the time of Wu-ti, an emperor of the Han dynasty. When his favorite concubine died, he was devastated and summoned his court officers to bring his beloved back to life. The officers made a shape of the concubine using donkey leather. Her joints were animated using 11 separate pieces of the leather, and adorned with painted clothes. Using an oil lamp they made her shadow move, bringing her back to life and the Emperor was satisfied.  Whatever the origin of puppetry, it is fairly certain that itinerant puppeteers from China took it to Korea and throughout Asia.

    During the Ming Dynasty there were 40 to 50 shadow show troupes in the city of Beijing alone. The earliest shadow theatre screens were made of mulberry paper. The storytellers generally used the art to tell events happening between various warring kingdoms.   The prototype of shadow puppets is paper cut by scissors, and later it was changed to leather engraving. In China 2000 years ago, it was known as the “theatre of the lantern shadows”.  More recently, it has been called “the father of film”. Shadow puppetry was ushered to the West around the thirteenth century, and still retains its original character, and it is even called a "National Treasure. 

    Sources: Ancientworld.com; David  Taylor; Wikipedia and Wikimedia

    Lotus Travel, Inc. 12366 SE 41st Lane, Bellevue, WA. 98006 1-800-956-8873

    ©Copyright 1995-2017. All Rights Reserved to Lotus Travel Inc.