Hua Dian- Ancient Chinese Forehead Decoration
I have been seeing some people on my dashboard saying that 花钿 (Chinese flower forehead decoration) are a kind of bindis or originate from India so I feel compelled to write this clarification. I hope this will be useful info for prospective hanfu-wearers.
It does not originate from India or have any relation to the bindi. It’s not religious but decorative and originates from the legend of Princess Shouyang who fell asleep under a plum tree and had a flower land on her forehead. The court ladies all admired the plum flower look so much they started imitating it with makeup. This started in the Southern Dynasty but became widely popular during the Tang dynasty.
The ornamental designs Tang beauties pasted on their foreheads were often of bird feathers or black paper, and possibly of shell, goldleaf, fishbone or mica. Or they would simply paint on a motif.
…Ancient cosmetic modes often originated in legend. Ornamental designs on the forehead were attributed to a princess named Shouyang, favorite of Southern Dynasty Emperor Songwudi (363AD-422AD). A blossom fell on the princess’ forehead one afternoon as she slept under the shade of a plum tree in the palace garden. Liking the effect, Shouyang wore the flower for a few days. Other court ladies followed suit, painting ornamental designs and pasting metallic patterns on their foreheads. This vogue peaked during the Tang Dynasty economic boom that succeeded a period of nationwide chaos.
So please do not tell me that it is Indian again. Chinese are not appropriating anything. Thanks.