In the Qing Dynasty, there were quite a lot of etiquette in the imperial palace. After all, Manchu and Han people were still very different. Many times, their requirements were particularly absurd and unreasonable. For example, the palace maids in the Qing Dynasty could not sleep on their backs.
In principle, sleeping should be the most relaxing and happy thing for people after a busy day. The so-called “it’s better to sleep than to take a car or a sedan chair”.
In addition to learning all kinds of complicated court etiquette, the new palace maids in Qing Dynasty also had to serve and discipline their “aunts” (the old women in the palace, who specialized in dealing with the daily life of some little palace maids) every day, and learn all kinds of boring court etiquette. They also had to serve their “aunts” from washing their faces, combing their hair, washing their feet, washing their bodies and washing their clothes .
If you meet an “aunt” who loves cleaning very much and has to wash these things every day, you need more than ten barrels of water just to wash these things. It is quite possible that the 13-year-old maid in waiting will be exhausted (the ancient barrel itself is very heavy).
Therefore, for the new maid in waiting, sleep is naturally the happiest thing of the day. However, this is not the case. Because the Qing court had strict requirements on the sleeping posture of palace maids, those who disobeyed the rules would be awakened seven or eight times overnight by “aunts”.
As for the sleeping posture of the palace maids in the Qing Dynasty, the court’s requirement was not to look up at the sky, but to turn sideways, roll up your legs, put one hand on your body, and stretch the other hand.
Why are there such strange rules? The reason is also very simple – because the royal family believes in God very much, and thinks that every night there are Temple gods to visit their palace to protect the owner of the palace. In their view, the temple God would check every room.
If the palace ladies lie on their backs and put up big characters, it would be a great disrespect to the temple God, and it would be very unsightly. Therefore, out of respect for the temple God, the palace maids were required to lie on their side instead of facing the sky when they were sleeping.
Of course, many maids who have just entered the palace are woken up by their “aunts” several times a night. After all, the habits they have developed over the years are hard to change. When they fall asleep, they fall asleep on their back.
Therefore, in the first year of entering the palace, in addition to learning the tedious court etiquette during the day and serving the “aunt” in basic necessities of life, in the first year of entering the palace, the palace maids often dare not sleep too deep at night.
They often wake up suddenly to see if their sleeping posture conforms to the rules and are afraid of being beaten because of their indecent sleeping posture. So many palace maids in the Qing Dynasty still kept the habit of sleeping on their side after leaving the palace for many years, and they couldn’t sleep at ease because of the “aunts” in the palace.