Imperial China: CHAOZHU (beads worn in court).

Imperial China: CHAOZHU (beads worn in court).

Chaozhu was an ornament worn by Qing emperors, empresses, princes, dukes and high officials when they were in ceremonial dress. Each string consists of 108 round beads, signifying the belief that one year was composed of 12 months, 24 solar terms and 72 periods of five days (hou). In between the beads four larger ones represented the four seasons.

On the sides were attached three strings of smaller beads, two on the left and one on the right, each of 10 beads, representing the first, second and last periods of 10 days in a month.

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