Oct 25, 2014

Gourd

Gourd is the fruit of a kind of liana. When fresh and tender, it could be eaten as vegetable; when dried, it makes an ideal container of water or wine.

Northern Chinese farmers have the habit of cutting a gourd in two to be used wine containers or ladles. Our ancestors fashioned the gourd into a wind instrument known as sheng, and the wayfarers loved to carry drugs in a gourd. This gave rise to the old platitude: “I don't know what he has got in his gourd.” Meaning somebody is wondering what's up somebody else's sleeves.

Because the gourd liana is prolific in bronze mirrors from a Han tomb dating back to 3,000 years ago, this is a rare case in which gourds were used as burial objects.

In some areas, men and women in love are still observing the Mid-Autumn Festival tradition to steal gourds from the fields with the desire to have as many children as possible after they get married.

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