The Three Friends of Winter 岁寒三友 (Suì hán sānyǒu), is an art motif that comprises the pine, bamboo, and plum. The Chinese celebrated the pine, bamboo and plum /Song Zhu Mei (松竹梅) together, as they observed that these plants do not wither as the cold days deepen into the winter season unlike many other plants. Pine and bamboo keep their green branches and green leaves in the severe cold, and plum blossoms with fragrance in the chilly air. Together Song Zhu Mei (松竹梅) symbolize steadfastness, perseverance, and resilience that Chinese people appreciate as virtue.
* Three friends of winter, by Zhao Mengjian, Song Dynasty (1199-1295)
Most East Asian countries were influenced by Chinese culture and art. The Three Friends of Winter 岁寒三友 (Suì hán sānyǒu) thus occupy important place in the conventions of East Asian culture. Wherever Confucianism is practiced, the virtue of Song Zhu Mei (松竹梅) are highly regarded as the scholar-gentleman's ideal. The patterns of pine, bamboo and plum/Song Zhu Mei (松竹梅) also could be found in popular life such as traditional painting, folk crafts, decorations, tissues, and fabric products, etc..
* Three friends of winter, by Zhang Daqian (1899-1983)
竹 means bamboo, any thing made of bamboo is composed of this component on the top. For example: 笛 ( traditional Chinese flute made of bamboo), 竿 (bamboo rod), 帘( curtain made of bamboo strip)
In addition, Chinese people often call plum flower "腊梅 La mei" and use it to decorate house for Chinese new year.
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