第25章 Beijing folk culture(4)

During the Qing Dynasty, men had the front rim of their hair trimm ed neatly and the hair was bound into a long plait, which gained the infamous name "pigtail". Every man wore a hat, which mainly included the official and the casual types. The round official hats were made of leather and satin. A red silk plait atop the hat carried a big jewel of red, blue or gold color according to the official ranking. A tube beneath the jewel contained a bunch of peacock tail feathers. The highest-level officials had three glowing barbules amid the feathers while lower officials had only one or two barbules. There were many types of casual hats, "vith the most common type being "waterm elon hat" -a hat of six parts joined at the top. It signifies the union of heaven, earth and all four directions of the world.

Men"s dresses in Qing Dynasty included long robe, heavy short coat, shirt, overcoat, pants and others. The long robe and the overcoat are formal dresses. The long robe reaches below the knees and the collar is round. Its front is zipped on the side of the chest with embroidered buttons. There are slits on the robe. Members of the royal family had four slits, while men of official ranking had two. The long robe has an ornamental broad rim shaped like the horse hoof at the end of the sleeve. The rim is usually folded, but it must be flattened while doing courtesy to superiors. The overcoat reaches the waist and is worn over the long robe. It also has a round collar and two slits on the side, with ornamental buttons in the middle or on the side.

The women of Qing Dynasty liked to have the hair piled high into a bun. The rest of the long hair is bound behind the head and trimmed into what looks like the swallow"s tail. The bun grew even higher at the end of the Qing Dynasty. An ornamental board was fixed on the head with a huge peony flower in the middle. It was nicknamed "big spreading wings".

Most women wore cloak, heavy coat and skirt for formal occasions. The casual dress would include a long robe embroidered at the collar and sleeve. A vest would add more color and style to the robe. Women of the Han nationality started binding their feet from adolescent years and throughout their lives, they must endure sharp pains walking in narrow, short embroidered shoes that the men very much adored. The Manchurian women were luckier to be free of this bound. But the noble ladies and their maids walked in shoes with a wooden stick shaped like the flower pot at the middle of the sole. It was thought that the women walking gingerly would look more elegant.

Peddlers" call

Carp: Live carp!

Gold fish: Come to buy big and small gold fish!

Tangmianjiao (a dumpling made with half boiled dough and steamed): Hot tangmian dumpling!

Yuanxiao (a dumpling made with the powder of glutinous rice for the Lantern Festival): Osmanthus

flower yuanxiao! Tenacious and smooth! Yuanxiao with osmanthus flower and a myriad of flavors!

Taiyanggao (sun cake, a cake printed with the pattern of a cock or with a miniature cock on the top

to be offered to the God of Sun on the 1st day of the 2nd lunar month): Sun cake to offer Buddha!

Sun cake, sun cake with the cock!

Basins and jars: Small basins! Small jars! Shallow ones for kittens! Jars for water! Chamber pots,

big and small!

Xuanfen (bean jelly contained in copper basin known as tongxuanzi as a summer dessert): Cool, really cool xuanfen!

Chinese prickly ash and Chinese toon: Fresh Chinese prickly ash, tender leaves of Chinese toon!

Common sow thistle: common sow thistle, fresh tender common sow thistle!

Apricot: Apricots, charge you free if it"s not sour! Apricots, sweet ones, you can change for free if it"s sour!

Chinese herbaceous peony: Chinese herbaceous peony of Imperial Consort Yang (Yang Yuhuan was a favorite imperial Consort of Emperor Xuanzong of Tang Dynasty and one of four best-known beauties in Chinese history).

Yellow croaker: Aye, come and buy yellow croaker!

Zongzi (pyramid-shaped dessert made with glutinous rice wrapped in reed or bamboo leaf for Duanwu Festival): Huge, cool zongzi with glutinous rice and small date! Tenacious zongzi with glutinous millet and small date!

Calamus and Chinese mugwort (medicinal herbs burnt during the Duanwu Festival to drive away insects and evil spirits): Calamus, good Chinese mugwort!

Mulberry fruit and cherry: Black and white mulberries, big ones to offer to Buddha! Huge cherries! Protective talisman and bottle gourd: Come for talisman to drive away all five poisonous creatures (snake, centipede, scorpion, gecko and toad)!

Steamed lotus root : Lotus root stuffed with glutinous rice!

Sweet-sour plum juice: Really sweet plum juice! Camels carried the spring water from Jade Spring Mountain; bees from the south made the nest. Get a bowl and have a try. I won"t charge you if it"s not cold or sweet.

Peas: Peas tenacious as cow tendon! Peas that are better than hazelnuts! Dried fragrant peas! Peas better than dried bean curd! Peas! Extra ones! Peas!

Watermelon: Sweet to the core with crispy flesh, what a perfectly round watermelon!

Peach: Big, honey peaches full of juice, honey peaches of Shenzhou (a city in Hebei Province known for good quality peaches)!

Xuehualao (a snowflake-like dessert): Snowflakes falling off icicle drive away summer heat and

quench thirst. Snowflakes from icicle, made with good water, sugar and osmanthus flower.

Pear paste candy (the sweet is believed to have a good effect on coughing): Big pear paste candies!

Fresh flowers: Selling magnolia flowers! Jasmine flowers!

Jujube and walnut: Sour jujube, come and buy! It"s free if it"s not sour!

Crab: Aye-hi-aye, big live crabs!

Hawthorn (the sweet-sour fruits are put on a bamboo stick and dipped in simmering sugar to get a light brown coating): Only two sticks of big hawthorns left!

Peanuts: Crispy peanuts! Come and pick peanuts!

Persimmon: Big persimmons! Like honey! Change it for free if it"s astringent.

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