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Located in the south of Hubei, known as "the South Gate of Hubei", Xianning has great renown for “Chibi old haunt of the Three Kingdoms, inland nuclear power city”, which has great advantages of its "mountain", "water" "geography","location","culture","scenery","energy"and the trend of development. Xianning is a suitable place to do ...[more]
location
Xianning City, attached to Hubei Province, known as “the southern gateway to Hubei”, is famous for sweet-scented os... [more]
Administrative divisions
Lying in the southeast of Hubei Province, along the south bank of the Yangtze River, and at the junction of Hunan, Hu... [more]
History
 Despite the late administrative construction of Xianning (prefecture-level city), the counties and urban districts under its administration all have a long history. The territory of today’s Xianning belonged to Jing Chu in the Xia and Shang Dynasties ( about 2200-1100 BC), Nan County in the Qin Dynasty(221-206 BC ), [more]
New Guye (son-in-law) Painted Red
http://English.xianning.gov.cn 12-02-07
 

  Located in the edge of Southeastern of Southern Hubei, Tongshan County is a place of Picturesque and charming scenery. People here for generations to generations have the honest and simple mind of the mountain and funny temperament as the tits. Because of soil moisture, the folk culture is blooming quietly like a bunch of flowers during the villagers’ labor working. Among hundreds of “mountain cultures” of Tongshan, Painting Red has become a unique folk custom.

  Walking in the village or farm fields, people sometimes will come across the new-married couple going home after visiting the woman’s family. They are well dressed with colorful gifts in hands, however, the man’s face is painted like a flower with colorful pigment. The pigment can be seen clearly though having been washed for many times. This is the custom of Tongshan, the face of the son--in-law must be painted red when he enters into the woman’s door.

  Painting Red in Tongshan has specific time and object. The time is on the day when the new married couple comes back to the woman’s family. The object is only the new son-in-law. Painting Red means the new son-in-law will be successful in career and has a good fate in the future. It is a good wish for the new couple to have a better life, but also to seek excitement and joy. When the new son-in-law enters the door, the sisters-in-law will make a joke by this opportunity to increase the happy and hilarious atmosphere for the new married girl. Only when the villagers consider the new son-in-law cannot match the girl or he has a bad character or the girl is reluctant to marry, the project of Painting Red can be ignored. But it is the biggest sarcasm and revulsion to the new son-in-law. For the married girl’s family, it also means to lose face. 

  Painting Red is a kind of celebration for the new married couple’s returning. After greeting the wife’s parents and siblings, the newlyweds will sit at the table. At this moment, the sisters-in-law will suddenly take out a piece of red object and paint it on the face of new son -in-law. He has no time to prevent it when others are all coming around. He will have a colorful face and finally the crowd will laugh at him.

  The son-in-law being painted red is an essential thing .Of course, he knows he must enter the door with the red, but the question is how to look good even with the red. There are many skills for that. The man in the town is very strong and most of them have celerity action, it is not very easy for one or two women to pain the red. So they pretend to the meal, cigarette lighter or pull out with the relative relationship with the new son-in-law by saying for sending a letter. In a word, they must try their best to paint the red on the new son's face. However, there will be also the funny situation that the sisters are caught by the new son-in-law and being painted red. The laughter between the son-in-law and the wife’s sisters are allowed.  

  In the end, the new son-in-law is still painted red and the men in his side are not allowed to give a hand. For the long time of labor working, the women become very strong. Several women together can handle with any new son-in-law. When the sisters are tangled with the son-in-law, the face, collar and neck of the son are all red. Sisters-in-law are also stained with a lot of red. The whole house will be filled with the laughter. Sometimes, there are even naughty sisters-in-law adding chili, pot ash and other spices into the pigment, then the son-in-law will have a hot feeling on the face. What’s more funny is that the face of the son-in-law with blocks of black among the red.

  After the 1990s, this custom has slowly faded out of sight. Today, only in the more remote mountain hamlets in the twelfth lunar month season, can people burst into laughter for the activity of Painting Red from time to time. (Written by Liao Shuanghe)


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