This embroidered hanging of boys in Mongolian hats with goats outdoors is appropriate for winter's coldest days. The boys' activities and costumes recall traditions found in northern Asia. In the early centuries of our era the Xiongnu (Huns) were said to have trained their children for battle by having them ride goats, but on this later panel, combining northern elements with native Chinese motifs, the goats serve as symbols. As the word for goat (yang in Chinese) is a homophone with the word for the male principle, associated with warmth, growth, and light, the arrival of yang after winter heralds the beginning of spring. The square of floral decoration on the upper front of one boy's red robe is typical of Mongol-ruled Yuan dynasty costumes and may have served as a precursor to the rank badges officially adopted during the native Ming dynasty (1368-1644). As in a companion piece in the National Palace Museum, Taiwan, the embroidery on fine silk gauze employs both a counted-stitch technique (a form of tent stitch) for the ground and satin stitch, among others, for the boys, goats, and aspects of the outdoor setting, such as the pines, prunus blossoms, and rocks. Radiating from the eyes, the stitching pattern of the goats lends them great vitality.