Recommended box | Chaozhou Woodcarving

The recommendation box is a ceremonial object dedicated to the gods and is highly valued by people in Malaysia, Fujian, Chaoshan, and Taiwan. The original meaning of “薦” is to make offerings and sacrifices. In ancient times, it was often used to express the introduction of food, meat, and seasonal fruits to ghosts and gods. Therefore, “薦” box represents the box used to offer sacrifices.

On important festivals, the recommendation box will be placed on the altar or table, before the incense burner, the upper layer is placed with tea, water, or wine, and the lower layer is placed with food such as cakes, biscuits or candied fruit. When offering sacrifices to ancestors and gods, tea and wine are offered to show respect. Based on this, recommendation boxes are also known as offering boxes, serving a case, serving tea tables, candy boxes, etc., and widely appearing in worship ceremonies in Chinese families and temple ceremonies, and even many folk collectors pay great attention to the art of recommending boxes. Image and production year, the more ancient it is, the more precious it is.

The shape of the recommended box is generally “head-up desk type” and “box cover type”, and the materials are wood, tin, copper, pottery, etc., of which wood is the most common. The recommendation box of the “head-up desk” is divided into single or double layers. The two ends of the desk are raised like wings. The shelf itself is hollowed out with patterns such as flowers and birds, curly grass, and cloud edges, decorated with vermilion lacquer, gold lacquer and other colors. Presenting a simple and elegant, auspicious meaning. The “lid type” recommended box can be designed to be rectangular or diamond-shaped. The upper part is the cover box. After opening, the lower shelf can be seen. It consists of three parts: bottom, shelf, and dish: the cover box is usually black with gold paint. , depicting auspicious patterns such as Three Kings Xian Rui, Fu Lu Shou Jubilee, Auspicious Bogu, Plum Blossom Magpie, Songhe Yannian; Characters and other patterns, the overall look and feel will present a brilliant and lively atmosphere, making the sacrificial scene more solemn and auspicious.

Among traditional folk religious beliefs, worship is the most common and most sincere religious behavior. In order to effectively increase the bridge of communication between people and gods during worship ceremonies, the people are used to preparing a lot of food, flowers, gold paper, and other offerings to the gods, so many utensils have also been produced to hold the tributes and make offerings to the gods. Or ask for divine will, such as shrines, clean bottles, incense burners, cups, etc. The recommendation box is one of the important utensils used to hold the tribute, especially when the Fujian people worship Tiangong on the ninth day of the first lunar month, they will have a grand event every year, and they pay special attention to the shape of the recommendation box. They can be as large as three to five layers. Even if it is small, it needs to be exquisitely carved, and it is only required that the wine offered can be presented to the gods smoothly, and the wish can be satisfied because of a happy mood after drinking. Therefore, the recommendation box also carries the beliefs of the people and has gradually developed into a cultural relic with practical, aesthetic, and cultural value in the increasingly sophisticated design.