春聯 DIY spring couplets

春聯 DIY spring couplets

29th January 2018 4 By livinguktaiwan

Chinese New Year is less than a month away, and this week I learnt to write spring couplets in my Chinese calligraphy class.
還有不足一個月就到農曆新年,這個星期我上書法課學寫春聯。
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Spring couplets are a pair of poetic lines written on red paper, and are normally hung on either side of the front door or somewhere prominent indoors if you have a very big house. It is customary to do this as part of the Chinese New Year preparations. Think of it as hanging your Christmas decorations. The content of the couplets varies but they usually convey auspicious messages, very important for the new year. Both lines must have the same number of characters and the corresponding characters should be in the same lexical group such as noun, verb, number.

Compared to normal calligraphy, the font on spring couplets are much larger so I practiced on normal calligraphy paper first. My teacher always says my calligraphy style is like me, light and tiny, so I have to write bigger and bolder characters now. After a few practices, he asked me to start writing on the red couplet paper he bought along. The texture of the paper is much thicker and doesn’t absorb ink well like the normal paper, so I felt quite nervous as I wanted to do myself and my teacher proud on my first attempt. Here’s my writing alongside my teacher’s. If you know Chinese, you can easily tell which is mine, and if you don’t know Chinese, well you can probably still tell which is mine.

老師常常說我寫書法像我本人一樣,很幼小。寫揮春的字體要大及有氣勢,所以一定要先練習。 練習一陣子之後,老師把預備好的紅紙拿來讓我開始寫春聯。這些紅紙的質感比平時書法練習的紙張厚而且不太上墨,所以第一次寫春聯很緊張,不想讓自己和老師失望。作品已完成,應該很容易看得出那一張是我,那一張是老師寫的。
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Despite the imperfections, I was very pleased with it (I have low expectations). When I lifted it to move it aside, I accidently brushed it against some other paper on the table and the last character is all smudged now😖 . Nonetheless I’m still very proud with my first attempt, and now its hanging proudly on my wall at home as I have a big ego.
其實我這個菜鳥也很滿意我寫的第一張春聯(我要求很低)。可惜我實在太興奮,拿起春聯時不小心碰到桌面上其他的紙張,一個好字變得不好😖。雖然如此,我仍然非常自豪地把上聯貼在家中的牆上。

I didn’t have time to write the second line in class, but here’s my practice.
上課時沒時間寫下聯,但仍然在練習。

Writing spring couplets are quite difficult for a beginner like me as there are fourteen characters, so my homework is to write hui chun instead. These are shorter phrases with 4 characters conveying a simply auspicious message such as good luck, health, prosperity, fortune etc. Here I’m practising to write fortune and luck. I hope I will improve a lot in the next few weeks and can you show you the results. Wish me good luck!
其實對一個像我這樣的初學者來說,寫春聯是有點困難,因為一共有14個字要寫。所以老師給我的功課是寫揮春。在未來幾個星期我會努力練習,如果成績滿意,希望可以跟大家分享。祝我好運噢!
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