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The Song Dynasty - Economy, industry, and trade Decision Making 低碳生活 张智勇

Food and Clothing

Cuisine and apparel

The food that one consumed and the clothes that one wore in Song China were largely dictated by one's status and social class. The main food staples in the diet of the lower classes remained rice, pork, and salted fish; their clothing materials were made of hempen or cotton cloths, restricted to a color standard of black and white. Trousers were the acceptable form of attire for farming peasants, soldiers, artisans, and merchants, although wealthy merchants might choose to wear more ornate clothing and male blouses that came down below the waist. Acceptable apparel for scholar-officials was rigidly confined to a social hierarchic ranking system. However, as time went on this rule of rank-graded apparel for officials was not as strictly enforced as it was in the beginning of the dynasty. Each official was able to display his awarded status by wearing different-colored traditional silken robes that hung to the ground around his feet, specific types of headgear, and even specific styles of girdles that displayed his graded-rank of officialdom.

Women in the Song period wore long dresses, blouses that came down to the knee, skirts and jackets with long or short sleeves, while women from wealthy families could wear purple scarves around their shoulders. The main difference in women's apparel from that of men was that it was fastened on the left, not on the right.

There is a multitude of existing restaurant and tavern menus and listed entrées for feasts, banquets, festivals, and carnivals during the Song period, all of which reveal a very diverse and lavish diet for those of the upper class. In their meals they could choose from a wide variety of meats, including shrimp, geese, duck, mussel, shellfish, fallow deer, hare, partridge, pheasant, francolin, quail, fox, badger, clam, crab, and many others. Dairy products were absent from Chinese cuisine and culture altogether, beef was rarely consumed since the bull was a valuable draft animal, and dog meat was absent from the diet of the wealthy, although the poor could choose to eat dog meat if necessary (yet it was not part of their regular diet). People also consumed dates, raisins, jujubes, pears, plums, apricots, pear juice, lychee-fruit juice, honey and ginger drinks, pawpaw juice, spices and seasonings of Sichuan pepper, ginger, pimento, soy sauce, oil, sesame oil, salt, and vinegar. The common diet of the poor was pork, salted fish, and rice.

宋朝 La Dynastie Song French 范仲淹 晏几道减字木兰花 撼庭秋 岳飞登黄鹤楼有感

The Song Dynasty - the Gentry

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