Homecoming by an Imperial Concubine
This is an episode from the novel A Dream of Red Mansions. Just as the whole family was busy prepasring the birthday ceremony for Jia Zheng， Jia was summoned to report to the imperial court. His family did not know why and felt uneasy about it. The family members waited for quite a while before the butler came back to say that Jia Yuangchun（Jia Zheng's eldest daughter） was conferred the title of highest-ranking imperial concubine.The emperor had granted that Yuangchun would pay a visit to her parents at the upcoming Lantern Festival. The Jia family relaxed after hearing the news. In order to welcome the homecoming imperial concubine， the Jia family became busier and built a garden of grand views for the occasion.
On the day of the Lantern Festival， Jia Zheng's mother led all members of her clan to wait by the main entrance to the garden. Accompanied by a swarm of imperial maids， Yuanchun came back on a sedan chair which was draped with an embroidery of a phoenix and tiny gold bells. Eight men carried the sedan chair on their shoulders. The imperial concubine was shown around the garden， in which there were pavilions with gorgeouslypainted beams and pilars. There were also patches of bamboos and strangely-shaped stones. The trees in the garden were decorated with flowers made of silk cloth while lanterns made of conches and clams were placed aside a pond. The garden was decorated so majestically that even Yuanchun thought it to be too luxurious.
After Yuanchun was seated， Jia Zheng's mother and Madam Wang （Yuangchun's grandmother and mother）met with her. Ther faced one another in silence：the mother and grandmother couldn't speak a word； they just sobbed. Yuanchun finally said："It is not easy for me to come back from a place where I can see no family members. But now that I'm back， you just sob away and have nothing to say to me. I'd better return to the palace. I don't know when I will be allowed to come home again." After that，all continued to cry.
After the banquet was ready， Yuanchun was marshaled to her seat. The imperial concubine invited her sisters and Bao Yu to recite poems， and she bestowed gifts to everyone at the bable. When the time came to leave， Yuanchun held the hands of her grandmothed that they not squander noney on her next homecoming， if there was one .The imperial concubine then turned away from her parents and left mournfully.
Tags: 红楼梦 省亲 故事 贵妃 省亲