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Friday, May 29, 2009

Perfumed Pouch for Duan Wu

It's the fifth day of the fifth month in the lunar calendar.

For the Chinese, the fifth day of the fifth month is unlucky. It was believed to be so in Ancient China because as midsummer neared, the heat brought with it the influx of illness. As medicine had not yet established the cause of sickness, people believed the sickness came from evil.

Thus people had to do something to ward off the evil.

They made little bags and stuffed it with perfumed herbs. They put it around the necks of their kids to ward off evil spirit and over the years perfumed pouches evolved into smaller trinkets like these two in the picture:

Small enough to fit a pocket or purse. The pouches though small are often designed to match girls Chinese dresses such as the traditional cheongsam.

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