中国扇子的历史可以追溯到3000多年前的商朝(the Shang Dynasty)。种扇子叫作“扇汗”(Shanhan),是拴在马车上用来 挡住强烈的阳光，给乘客遮雨的。“扇汗”有点像现在的雨伞。后来 “扇汗”变成了由薄但是结实的丝绸或者鸟的羽毛做成的长柄扇，称 为中山扇(Zhangshan fan),它主要用于皇帝的仪仗(honour guard)装饰。
The history of Chinese fan can be dated to over 3,000 years ago，around the Shang Dynasty. The first type of fan, known as Shanhan, was tied to a horse-drawn carriage to shut out the strong sunshine and shelter the passengers from the rainfall. The Shanhan was a bit like today’s umbrella. Later this Shanhan became a long-handled fan made of thin and tough silk or birds5 feathers, called a Zhangshan fan, which was mainly used by the emperor’s honour guard as decoration.