Chinese Culture| Is a Tang suit from the Tang Dynasty?

Have you ever seen a Tang suit? A Tang suit is a type of traditional Chinese clothing,  just like the outfit you see in the photo below. Sometimes you may see them on TV. Also, when we are celebrating traditional festivals or participating in international events, many Chinese people will wear a Tang suit.

In the early Qing Dynasty, the mandarin jacket was a military garment, worn only by those who were soldiers; later, it became popular among the people, and by the end of the Qing Dynasty, the mandarin jacket had become the mainstream clothing of the time. But back then, this costume was not worn by many people in China; it was actually most popular among overseas Chinese.

A few decades ago, designers modified the mandarin jacket by adding some western elements, and it became the Tang suit we see now.

You might be wondering why it’s called a “Tang suit”. What does Tang attire have to do with the Tang dynasty? The Tang dynasty was one of the most prosperous dynasties in Chinese history, so many people abroad would refer to the Chinese as Tang people. During the Ming and Qing dynasties, many Chinese people settled overseas and they often proudly referred to themselves as Tang people. Therefore, the word “Tang” actually means Chinese, and the “Tang suit” means “Chinese clothing worn by Chinese people”.

In 2001, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Meeting was held in Shanghai, and all the heads of state wore Tang suits for a group photo, and since then, the Tang suit has become popular again in China.

To summarize, the Tang suit was not worn during the Tang Dynasty, but it was derived from the mandarin jacket worn in the Qing Dynasty. Finally, let me ask you a question, what other traditional Chinese costumes do you know?

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