Monthly Archives: December 2015

European Palace Garden

European Palace Garden one of the tourism place at Taiwan Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village, it is a worth to go place with a beautiful garden full with flower at its surrounding.

A palace is a grand residence, especially a royal residence or the home of a head of state or some other high-ranking dignitary, such as a bishop or archbishop.

The word itself is derived from the Latin name Palātium, for Palatine Hill, the hill which housed the Imperial residences in Rome. In many parts of Europe, the term is also applied to ambitious private mansions of the aristocracy. Many historic palaces are now put to other uses such as parliaments, museums, hotels or office buildings. The word is also sometimes used to describe a lavishly ornate building used for public entertainment or exhibitions.

The word “palace” comes from Old French palais (imperial residence), from Latin Palātium, the name of one of the Seven Hills of Rome. The original “palaces” on the Palatine Hill were the seat of the imperial power while the “capitol” on the Capitoline Hill was the religious nucleus of Rome. Long after the city grew to the seven hills the Palatine remained a desirable residential area. Emperor Caesar Augustus lived there in a purposely modest house only set apart from his neighbours by the two laurel trees planted to flank the front door as a sign of triumph granted by the Senate. His descendants, especially Nero, with his “Golden House” enlarged the house and grounds over and over until it took up the hill top. The word Palātium came to mean the residence of the emperor rather than the neighbourhood on top of the hill.

“Palace” meaning “government” can be recognized in a remark of Paul the Deacon, writing c. AD 790 and describing events of the 660s: “When Grimuald set out for Beneventum, he entrusted his palace to Lupus” (Historia Langobardorum, V.xvii). At the same time, Charlemagne was consciously reviving the Roman expression in his “palace” at Aachen, of which only his chapel remains. In the 9th century, the “palace” indicated the housing of the government too, and the constantly travelling Charlemagne built fourteen. In the early Middle Ages, the palas was usually that part of an imperial palace (or Kaiserpfalz), that housed the Great Hall, where affairs of state were conducted; it continued to be used as the seat of government in some German cities. In the Holy Roman Empire the powerful independent Electors came to be housed in palaces (Paläste). This has been used as evidence that power was widely distributed in the Empire; as in more centralized monarchies, only the monarch’s residence would be a palace.

In modern times, the term has been applied by archaeologists and historians to large structures that housed combined ruler, court and bureaucracy in “palace cultures”. In informal usage, a “palace” can be extended to a grand residence of any kind.

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The Stove God

Week 52/52

In Chinese folk religion, Chinese mythology and Taoism; The Kitchen God also known as the Stove God, named Zao Jun, Zao Shen, or Zhang Lang, is the most important of a plethora of Chinese domestic gods that protect the hearth and family. The Kitchen God is celebrated in Vietnamese culture as well. It is believed that on the twenty third day of the twelfth lunar month, just before Chinese New Year he returns to Heaven to report the activities of every household over the past year to the Jade Emperor (Yu Huang). The Jade Emperor, emperor of the heavens, either rewards or punishes a family based on Zao Jun’s yearly report. Though there are many stories on how Zao Jun became the Kitchen god, the most popular dates back to around the 2nd Century BC. Zao Jun was originally a mortal man living on earth whose name was Zhang Lang. He eventually became married to a virtuous woman, but ended up falling in love with a younger woman. He left his wife to be with this younger woman and, as punishment for this adulterous act, the heavens afflicted him with ill-fortune. He became blind, and his young lover abandoned him, leaving him to resort to begging to support himself. Once, while begging for alms, he happened across the house of his former wife. Being blind, he did not recognize her. Despite his shoddy treatment of her, she took pity on him and invited him in. She cooked him a fabulous meal and tended to him lovingly; he then related his story to her. As he shared his story, Zhang Lang became overwhelmed with self-pity and the pain of his error and began to weep. Upon hearing him apologize, Zhang’s former wife told him to open his eyes and his vision was restored. Recognizing the wife he had abandoned, Zhang felt such shame that he threw himself into the kitchen hearth, not realizing that it was lit. His former wife attempted to save him, but all she managed to salvage was one of his legs. The devoted woman then created a shrine to her former husband above the fireplace, which began Zao Jun’s association with the stove in Chinese homes. To this day, a fire poker is sometimes referred to as “Zhang Lang’s Leg”. The origin of the Kitchen god differs. Another possible story of the “Stove god” is believed to have appeared soon after the invention of the brick stove. The Kitchen god was originally believed to have resided in the stove and only later took on human form. During the Han Dynasty, it is believed that a poor farmer named Yin Zi fang, was surprised by the Kitchen god who appeared on Lunar New Year as he was cooking his breakfast. Yin Zi fang decided to sacrifice his only yellow sheep. In doing so, he became rich and decided that every winter he would sacrifice one yellow sheep in order to display his deep gratitude.

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Project #52

Wishing Tree

Week 51/52

Trees are significant in many of the world’s mythologies and religions, and have been given deep and sacred meanings throughout the ages. Human beings, observing the growth and death of trees, and the annual death and revival of their foliage, have often seen them as powerful symbols of growth, death and rebirth. Evergreen trees, which largely stay green throughout these cycles, are sometimes considered symbols of the eternal, immortality or fertility. The image of the Tree of life or world tree occurs in many mythologies. Sacred or symbolic trees include the Banyan and the Peepal (Ficus religiosa) trees in Hinduism, the Yule Tree in Germanic mythology, the Tree of Knowledge of Judaism and Christianity, the Bodhi tree in Buddhism and Saglagar tree in Mongolian Tengriism. In folk religion and folklore, trees are often said to be the homes of tree spirits. Germanic paganism as well as Celtic polytheism both appear to have involved cultic practice in sacred groves, especially grove of oak. The term druid itself possibly derives from the Celtic word for oak. The Egyptian Book of the Dead mentions sycamores as part of the scenery where the soul of the deceased finds blissful repose. In many parts of the world travelers have observed the custom of hanging objects upon trees in order to establish some sort of a relationship between themselves and the tree. Throughout Europe, trees are known as sites of pilgrimages, ritual ambulation, and the recital of (Christian) prayers. Wreaths, ribbons or rags are suspended to win favor for sick humans or livestock, or merely for good luck. Popular belief associates the sites with healing, bewitching, or mere wishing.

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Project #51

Ancient Chinese Pottery

Week 50/52

Chinese Pottery is one of the oldest in the world. Ceramics were used for making pots before bronze was invented. Vessels of clay were used mostly for rituals or for any other utility purpose. Thereafter Kilns were discovered in China. Chinese were one of the first people to use Potters wheels after a couple of years. The Neolithic Culture was developed soon after in China. Some of the Neolithic cultures are Miao-ti-kou, Lung Shan, and Yang-Shao. Various types of Vessels were used in Ancient China especially Earthenware Vessels which were usually handmade and had striations. The concept of using jars in funerals and also for pulling out drinking water from pools which were very famous in the ancient history of Asian countries was very well developed and in use in Ancient China. The Yang-Shao Water Vessels are very famous all over the world. Yang-Shao Culture was practiced in around 5000 BC and it corresponds to the modern Henan and Shanxi culture known today which was excavated in 1977. The Neolithic Culture belongs to 10,000BC. It was during this period that the Chinese Villages were first found. Introduction of different forms of art and architecture was at its peak in this period. In ancient China Pottery Carvings became very famous. The Credit of discovery of the fruitful uses of clay can be given to a great extent to Ancient China and its creativity. Different forms of Pots were made in Ancient China especially in the Ancient Chinese Villages. Different designs and motives were engraved on the pots in the Villages in Ancient Chinese Villages and sold in the Urban Markets. Chinese motives have been various famous all over the world and often the motives engraved on these pots show the ancient culture, tradition, history. It also is of a lot of evidentiary value. A few of the pots belonging to the Ancient Chinese cultures are also very important from the archaeological perspective. Although the Neolithic period was very famous however it has also come under scrutiny and dispute because of a lot of ambiguity which exists between facts and fiction. Clarification and classification between the two is very essential, however Ancient Chinese art and architecture as well as its inventions.

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Project #50

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