Wednesday, 26 January 2011 20:14
Xiangbao, literally, aroma pouch, is a Chinese lucky charm with a long history. Also called "Hebao" or "Xiangdai" in ancient times, it was made out of colorful silk or elegant fabric and traditionally contained mixed Chinese herb powder which was believed to expel the evil spirit and wickedness, and to bring auspiciousness and prosperity, turning bad luck to good luck. The popularity contributed to its being served as a love token exchanged between lovers and a lucky charm given among friends. It has been passed down as a work of art. Today, Xiangbao is simply a token wishing for better lives. These exotic ornaments are gracefully articulated in various styles. Often with double-sided art work, some present mini embroidered clothing and boots; others are in heart shape with the character of happiness on it; still others express wishes for peace at home and safety on the road. They can be hung on door knobs at home, on the office wall, in your car as car charms, or simply on the tree for holiday decorations. It can be attached to anywhere as you wish, such as music instruments, handbags, backpacks. They are an ideal gift for spiritual wellbeing and best wishes, or simply keep one for your own protection..
One popular type is a 2 ½ x 2" closed mini draw string pouch with fabric flower deco on the front. It has a long red tassel, extending its total length to 11". Various colors in blue, yellow, and green are available. They are perfect holiday hanging ornaments, and are also pleasantly surprising gifts for Happy New Year, birthdays or anniversaries due to their exotic nature.
Embroidery is an important element in the Xiangbao fabric ornament design. The double-sided embroidered flowers can make even a tiny 1 ¾" x 1 ¼" rectangle pouch so much distinguished. The embroidery technique is used in not only making flower and animal patterns, but also writing Chinese characters. From "protective talisman" in a vertical order to "peace" on a heart, embroidery serves its purpose outlining the cultural aspects.
"Peace" or "Peace be with you wherever you go" or "peaceful journey" is a dominant theme. "Happiness" or "Joy", of course, is another theme you can find in variations of design. Some present a golden "happiness" embroidered on a 2" diameter, round, red pouch decorated with a red tassel; others have a combined message of "happiness" and "peace" with a use of multiple colors. One yellow pouch in heart shape has embroidered yellow "happiness" and red "peaceful journey" on it. Another red, round pouch shows golden "happiness" and yellow "peaceful journey". Xiangbao with these universal and lasting messages make great gifts to extend love, peace and joy wishes among families and friends, or keep for your own peace and safety. "Double happiness" with two identical Chinese "happiness" characters standing side by side is a traditional theme served as a token for marriage and a perfect wedding gift.
Besides rectangle, round, heart, draw string bag shapes, they are also made into actual shapes of boots and clothing. These tiny embroidered, colorful clothing and boots usually have embroidered character "happiness" on them and are ideal gifts for celebrating such significant events of new-born and birthdays. Xiangbao ornaments are often decorated with traditional folk knots at the top and bottom, or with top knots and bottom tassels, usually in red.
One variation of the Xiangbao lucky charm uses a piece of coin in ancient style tied with a traditional red knot on the top and a hanging red tassel. It is popular because of its simple design. It can be hung in the office or on the rear mirror of your car for good fortune.
A personal favorite is a White Rabbit Hanging Ornament. It is made out of a piece of woven tapestry with a white rabbit on red and golden background. It is not hard to envision this white rabbit will cheer you up and bring good luck wherever you go.
As a work of art, Xiangbao ornaments make great deco accessories, brightening your space. Besides being hung on the wall at home or at office, they can be used as handbag or backpack charms. For your safety and protection, many can also be used as car charms, hung on the rear mirror of your car.
Besides the mini ones, hanging ornaments of an entirely different scale are also available. Large Hanging Double Fish Prosperity, 6"L x 3L"W (22"L including tassel) by size, is brightly articulated in double-sided art work of red and yellow twin fishes and with "Peace for life" in Chinese characters. Fish represent prosperity and peace for life, a token for marriage and a perfect wedding gift.
A recent twist is colorful bamboo charcoal mini pouch, as more work done to realize the true benefits of bamboo as an eco-friendly vehicle. Bamboo charcoal made from more than 5 year-old bamboo through high-temperature carbonizing process in brick-kilns, makes an excellent deodorizer and humidifier. Among many of its benefits, a porous structure of bamboo charcoal has strong adsorption capacity to purify the air, absorb moisture, eliminate odor, block electromagnetic radiation, promote blood circulation and metabolism, and reduce fatigue. They are to improve moisture and odor conditions, anti-mildew, pest control, preservation and permeability. Bamboo charcoal pouches can be placed in refrigerators, wardrobes, shoe racks, beds, pet houses, wooden floors, cabinets, flower pots and exercise bags. They may be more effective in a small and controlled space. Re-usable, to regenerate the odor absorbing and destroying power of the bamboo charcoal, simply lay the charcoal bags out in bright sunlight for a few hours twice a month.
While you are on our website, you may want to view Bamboo Charcoal Deodorizer as well. This application somehow reminds us of how it all started thousands of years ago: a little pouch contained mixed Chinese herb powder to expel the evil spirit and wickedness and to bring auspiciousness and prosperity, turning bad luck to good luck.