The Story of the Willow Pattern Plate.

Ratvaark and Matilda hold up a Willow Pattern plate.

As it is Chinese New Year, we are going to tell a famous story – the story you see on a Willow Pattern plate.

Ratvaark and Matilda hold up a Willow Pattern plate.

Once upon a time in China, there was a very powerful Mandarin, who had a daughter. She was in love with one of her father’s account clerks.

Dim is dressed as a Chinese Mandarin. Ofelia is a princess, and Bernard in a plain tunic is the clerk. They stand in front of a pagoda from the willow pattern plate. All the outfits are blue.

The Mandarin was very angry when he found out, because the clerk was too low class to marry a noble princess. The poor clerk was banished from the palace, and a wall built all around it.

The Mandarin arranged a for a wealthy duke to marry his daughter, and the duke arrived by boat with a box of treasure.

Arnold, dressed as the duke, arrives by boat with a box of treasure.

The wedding was due to take place the day the blossom fell from the willow tree, but the night before, the clerk got into the palace, disguised as a servant and rescued his love.

Bernard, wearing an apron gets to the palace and rescues Ofelia

The lovers took the treasure and left by the bridge over the moat, pursued by the angry Mandarin with his whip – but they got away!

Bernard and Ofelia cross a blue and white bridge by a willow tree, as seen on the plate, chased by Dim

They sailed away and lived happily on an island, but then the wicked Mandarin found out where they were, and sent his soldiers to kill them for defying him.

But the gods, moved by the sad story, turned the souls of the lovers into doves, to fly together forever.

Bernard and Ofelia hold long bamboo sticks, with painted blue birds stuck to the top.

A very Happy New Year of the Pig to all our friends!

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