Midwinter therapy
A new-old approach to calendars
I’m so cold. Thankfully there is a festival to help with midwinter blues. It’s less known nowadays, even in China where it originated. It’s the Dongzhi festival, or the Nine Nines of winter. There are several traditions associated with it; I’ll focus on the painting ones here. How nice to celebrate with paintings! I’m incorporating this unusual tradition into my PhD 1001 artworks. Essentially it’s a painted calendar marking 81 days (9 x 9) counting down from the winter solstice (Dec 21, when we started) until spring, which is marked by the Spring Festival (aka Chinese New Year). Like a painted Advent calendar, except for Spring and one that you make yourself. Each set of nines is characterised by a different coldness (ice, snow, skating, cold hands, visible breath) eventually giving way to signs of spring (ice melting, river flowing again, first signs of life after winter hibernation)… and a beautiful way to mark it is to paint 9 flowers on a tree. Each flower has 9 petals. You paint 1 petal per day, and once you’ve painted 81 petals – once 81 days have passed – it will be Spring Festival and winter will be over (yippee!). This is my midwinter therapy as well as homeschool for my son, a lesson in patience, nature, the changing of the seasons, marking time and basic maths and counting. There are other traditional calendars. We are also completing a calligraphy calendar of 9 Chinese characters each made up of 9 strokes which I’ll share later.
With thanks to Deziremi, a Chinese bookstore and much more based in the UK for hosting an international Chinese children’s book club where we talked – and sang – about this wonderful festival!
#dongzhi #festival #calendars
#theperfectbrush #vaishaliprazmaribrushes #vaishaliprazmari #vaishaliprazmariteaching #painting #art #learn #miniaturepainting #onlinecourses #online #zoom #artistsofinstagram #funwithkids #小朋友 #homeschool #paintmaking #artistmom #littlefriend #preschoolers #studiovisit #littlefriend #xiaopengyou

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