Papercuts refer to the handicrafts made by cutting paper with scissors to form different patterns before people paste them on walls, windows, doors and ceilings. Originating in China, the art of paper cutting has been popular among the people. The first papercut can be traced back to the Northern and Southern Dynasties (386-581) period, and its develpement has a close relationship with Chinese rural festivals in which people would paste papercuts on walls, windows and doors at wedding ceremonies or festivals to add to the festive atmosphere.
Chinese papercuts are rich in content. Their designs symbolize people's wishes for fortune and happiness. Designs of children, lotus and bottle gourd suggest a family with a large number of children, while those with birds, livestock, fruit, fish and worms are also favorite objects among the Chinese people.
There are some special papercuts used to decorate clothes, shoes, hats, pillows, bed curtains and door curtains. Papercuts made in different areas have different characteristics. Shaanxi window papercuts are simple and bold, while those from Hebei Province and Shanxi Province are bright in color, and those in southern provinces are delicate and fine.