China is known for many things and one such thing that it is world-renowned is for delicate handmade fans. These fans are part of Chinese culture and tradition, and it is quite common to see characters in Chinese opera using fans in a particular way to reveal their inner character.
It is believed that the first fan was invented by accident when primitive man picked up a big leaf from a nearby plant to fan away flies and mosquitoes. Much to his delight, the man figured out that the leaf besides driving away pests also provided him coolness.
In ancient China, handmade fans were used for keeping cool and swatting pests. However, the handmade fans of China played a bigger role. Over 3,000 years ago, the royal families of China used long fans made from bird feathers in court performances and ceremonies. The fans were shaped to resemble the colorful tail of the mythical phoenix.
During the Han Dynasty (206 BC to 220 AD), China saw plenty of fabric and this led to the introduction of silk and satin handmade fans in China. Scholars and artists started drawing and writing poems on the fans to demonstrate their talent, and before long, fans became an integral part of the elite and learned.
Folding fans were introduced into China from Korea and Japan some 1,000 years ago. These fans were made from wafer thin paper, which was mounted on bamboo sticks. Because of their portability, even today these delicate and beautiful fans are used all over China, especially during the travel in hot summers.
Today you can get a variety of handmade fans in China. Sandalwood fan is preferred by ladies because of its light delicate fragrance. This fan is made entirely from sandalwood and delicate designs are carved to make it beautiful and suitable for ladies. These fans serve to enhance the charm and elegance of a lady rather than cooling her or swatting pests.