Saturday, March 30, 2013

"Origami" for Qing Ming festival - Paper Lotus

The Qing Ming festival is arriving soon.  I was told by elderlies and shops selling joss sticks & prayer stuff that it spans a 21-day period such that it's 10 days before and 10 days after the actual day for Qing Ming, which falls on the 24th day of the 2nd month on the lunar calendar.

While moving around at the Aljunied area, I found this Taiwanese inspired prayer shop known as Fushan Sandalwood (Singapore) Pte Ltd at the following address:

12 Aljunied Road #01-01 KH Plaza
Singapore 389801
Tel : 6-746-7496

I was told that this retail is a joint venture between Yang Yong Ann (located at Loyang) and Taiwan Fushan Sandalwood Co., Ltd

I was pretty excited to see that the shop carried those beautiful looking sheets of paper that could be folded into complicated looking stuff such as lotuses, dragon boats, igots, etc for the purpose of offering to deities, Buddhas & the deceased. 

There was an assortment of colourful folding papers that were sold in the shop and they are indeed manufactured & imported from Taiwan.

I bought a packet of medium sized papers in a standard pack of 9 colours with incantations printed on them for offering to our loved ones who had passed on.  My idea was to try folding paper lotuses through watching videos on You-Tube.

折蓮花教學影片 (how to fold paper lotus)

The quality of the colourful paper is exceptionally good with great colour consistencies in the pack I bought. 

Unlike their counterparts that were imported from China & sold here in Singapore at some of the joss sticks shops, the colour didn't bleed onto my palms while folding lotuses.

This photograph features the lotuses folded using prayer papers which are bought from other joss sticks shop.

The gold foil peels off very easily and makes folding a very messy job.

Not recommended for folding of paper lotuses if versions of better quality are available.

My learning curve for folding paper lotuses
The learning process wasn't exactly a breeze.  In fact, I folded the paper such that the wordings failed to appear at the "tip" of both the petals & the leaves at the base.  Further, I folded such that my paper lotuses were slightly smaller & "cuter" looking than what it was supposed to be.

Nevertheless, the retail staff was kind enough to console me, and reminded me that it was the thought that counts.  In the near future, I would have to make a conscientous effort to ensure that the petal of the lotuses would shown on all the petals & leaves.

The series of photographs below illustrates how a blue paper lotus with green leaves was brought to "bloom".  Ideally, I would like to take a video of how the folding is done by myself.  Unfortunately, there's a lacking in logistics.  As such, I haven't had a chance to record my folding of paper lotuses live on video yet.  I would do so & upload in the near future.

First layer of petals
After bringing up the first layer of petals as shown in the above you-tube video clip, I would adjust the positioning of the paper lotus such that the 4 petals are centralised. 

We wouldn't want lopsided looking petals.  As such, it's important to adjust the petals consistently while "blooming" the lotus.

Second layer of petalsUsing the video attached as a reference, you would have noticed that the petals are flipped up in an alternate fashion.

For the first few paper lotuses that I made, I had to concentrate real hard to ensure that I didn't mess up the sequence in "opening" up the petals.

I went shhhhhhh... at Hubby Dearest when he interrpupted my concentration while I was busy with the "blooming".

Third layer of petals
Once again, I must reiterate that I had to constantly shape the lotus as if I were holding on to a cup but pressing the structure very gently such that I am narrowing the centre (or "mouth") of the lotus.

This is to ensure that the lotus flower wouldn't be lopsided in shape.

(A close-up photograph of an unfinished paper lotus)

(A paper lotus in full bloom - complete with blue petals & green leaves)

(The same paper lotus taken from another angle)

A Variation of colourful paper lotuses
If you are interested in viewing more of the paper lotuses that I have folded using the Taiwanese imported prayer papers, please scroll down for more photographs.

Red lotus with green leaves :

Folding of paper shoes for the deceased
While I was surfing through you tube videos, I found this interesting clip where experts use square-shaped prayer papers to make shoes for the deceased.  It's really very cute looking but please make sure that you got the right type of prayer papers (meant for offering to the deceased) and that they are square-shaped (not rectangular in shape).

For instructions on how to fold these paper shoes, please refer to the following You-Tube video:

This is the first pair of shoes that I made.  Meant for my maternal granny who passed away during the wee hours of the first day of Chinese New Year in 2010.

The other variation of the paper shoes that I folded for her as well are shown here:

Post-script :  These paper shoes & paper lotuses are used as offerings to our loved ones who had passed on.  During the Qing Ming festival which is an annual event, we would visit places where they are laid to rest.  After praying to our loved ones, we would bring these paper offerings to designated spots at each respective locations & burn them.

Dislcaimer:  Please note that I do not own any of the video clips which are attached in this blogging entry.  Full credits would go to the respective video producers on You-Tube.  I am also not affliated to any of the retailers / organisations which are mentioned.  Thank you.

1 comment:

  1. I need to know where can I buy these colorful lotus paper