Because family continuity and prosperity are of utmost importance in traditional Chinese society, parents would provide great care to their children to ensure they would grow into adulthood. However, they usually attributed the death of children to evil powers rather than to poor hygiene, lack of medical attention or malnutrition. As a result, parents would adorn their children’s costumes and toys with auspicious designs to symbolize the presence of other supernatural powers to deter evil spirits. For example, according to popular belief, children’s clothing and footwear in the shape of animals could be used to frighten off malicious spirits or fool them into thinking that the child was only an animal and not a human being, therefore, not worth harming or snatching away.
There are several types of patterns and images that appear frequently on children’s clothing, adornments, and decorative objects.