Papercut is one of China's most popular and distinct folk arts, dating back to the 6th century. It is created using paper and scissors or an engraving knife. Papercut is mainly used for decoration and religious purposes.
Papercut can be categorized into three types. The first type is ornamentation for gates, windows, walls, columns, mirrors, presents, lamps and lanterns. At some important festivals, like the New Year's Festival, it is very important to put papercuts on entrance gates for good luck for the family. Papercut is also used for religious purposes, as decorations for sacrificial offerings to ancestors and gods. Lastly, some papercuts serve as embroidery base patterns for decorating clothes and lacquer work.
Papercuts are produced by hand using either scissors or a knife. Considerably more papercuttings can be made in one operation using a knife.
As a folk art, it plays a significant role in folk activities. Today, in the countryside, typically only women make papercuts. In the past, girls were supposed to master the craft and it was then used to judge brides.