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27/12/2013

What is Heated Kang?

Heated Kang is a kind of common heating equipment in the residence of northern China and the Manchu also introduced it into the imperial palace. The Shengjing Imperial Palace affordable China travel packages is mostly equipped with heated Kang even with several in one room which not only serves as the warm bed for sleeping and seating but also keeps the room warm by heat emanation.

The traditional residence of the Guandong Manchu in the past was always the "pocket" type house with its door facing east but not in the center. The room near the door was the kitchen, the eastern rooms were connected together by two or three and the heated Kang in South-North direction is as long as the room, which was commonly known as "connected two-Kang" or "connected three-Kang". Since the Kang was used for sleeping and sitting, it was more than five chi wide and was also known as the "North-South Kang" or "opposite Kang". The west Kang in the opposite was narrower and it was used for placing items. The open space between Kang was called "house floor". In fact, most of the indoor space was occupied by Kang, so people's indoor living was mainly on the Kang. When a guest came, the host would invite him to sit down on the Kang, people there had meals, read or wrote on the Kang, and children also played on the Kang. See more at popular China tour package

Wanzi Kang (South-North connecting Kang) is closely related to the civil customs in northeastern region. The large family in the past when several generations lived together, the elders always lived in the south Kang which is quite warm for facing toward the sun. Its warmest "Kang head" place (the side close to the stove connected with the Kang) was for the host with the highest seniority or the honored guest and the north Kang was for the sleeping and sitting of the juniors of the family or for drying food. West Kang was usually not for people to live. In the Manchu Nationality China guide, West Kang was a special place because the center of the west wall was the place for worshipping the "memorial tablets" (spirit tablet), so only sacrificial utensils and sacrifices could be placed at the west Kang. Other sundries could not be placed here and the arbitrary trampling, sitting or sleeping was forbidden.

The main function of the heated Kang was to make the house warm. Since the Kang was heated by the cooking stove, once cooking food or water, the Kang would keep warm. For protecting from the cold winter, some people built the flue underground which was known as "heat floor" or "underground Kang". In the particularly cold winter, the room temperature can be increased by adding more fire in the stove. In the outside, it was cold and freezing while inside, it was as warm as the spring with the Kang and the floor emanating heat successively.

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03:44 Publié dans Voyage | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)

26/12/2013

Trace Chinese history in Yin Ruins Museum

Yinxu Museum, also known as the Ruins of Yin, are found in Xiaotun in Henan Province affordable China travel packages. The museum is situated on the site of the former ancient city of Yin, which we now know was once the thriving capital of the Shang Dynasty (1700 BC-1027 BC). Yin, or rather, Yinxu, is now also partly buried beneath the city of Xiaotun, a small village located on the northwestern outskirts of the city of An'yang, in the region of present-day Henan Province that neighbors Hubei and Shanxi Provinces to the north.

More than just the usual set of stone foundations that mark a forgotten city, Yinxu has yielded a plethora of fascinating archeological artifacts including palatial buildings, complete tombs, and written records in the form of so-called oracle bones. The oracle bones are large pieces of cracked bone or turtle shell which were heated and cracked during divination and on which were then inscribed, in a unique script that is the precursor to the Chinese character script, the record of the divination.

Not surprisingly, Yinxu has become a famous historical and cultural city in China in which not only the Chinese people but all of mankind can take pride in. The ancient city is considered a milestone in human history, with all its horrors (the ritual execution of humans was part of life in this slave society) as well as its splendors, on the social development path of the species.

How Yinxu was discovered is itself almost as unique as what was unearthed here. In 1899, the director of the Imperial College, who suffered from malaria, had succumbed to one of the usual periodic bouts of fever associated with the illness. However, the pharmacist on this occasion offered the director a new "drug," namely "Longgu," or "dragon bones." What the good director received were some small, flat pieces of bone material that obviously belonged to a larger flat bone and upon which one could distinctly make out etchings that vaguely resembled the Chinese character script.

Being a man of letters, the director naturally imagined that what he held in his hand might be a shard from a larger piece of ancient bone material that had been used as a sort of ledger to record important data—perhaps a harvest record or a record of grain purchase—and that there might be more such bone material at the same location, if it could be found. He, with the help of an assistant, quickly traced the magic "malaria drug" to the small village of Xiaotun on the outskirts of An'yang top 10 China tour packages, and there a great number of similar bone shards were unearthed.

Enough pieces of "ledger" had been found by 1917 to permit Wang Guowei, a Chinese scholar, writer, and poet, to decipher the "oracle bone" inscriptions, as they had been dubbed. The information that the bones held related to the genealogy of the rulers of an ancient Chinese dynasty whose existence, though recorded in the “Records of the Grand Historian” by Sima Qian in the Shang Dynasty, was thought to be more fanciful than factual. Here then was actual proof of the existence of the Shang Dynasty and its capital city, Yin.

The first round of excavations at Yinxu took place between 1928 and 1937, conducted by the Chinese Institute of History and Philosophy, which undertook archeological digs at the time. The remains of a royal palace, royal tombs, and an immense quantity of oracle bones (more than 100,000) which would reveal the "written language" of these ancient Chinese forebears, were unearthed. Further excavations have been carried out beginning in 1950 by the Archeological Institute of the Chinese Social Sciences Academy.

The Archeological Institute found evidence of stratification, suggesting that the Shang Dynasty was indeed of long duration. The remains of palaces and temples as well as royal cemeteries were discovered, and in the process, the institute learned much about the art and science of archeological digging, thus laying the groundwork for future excavation projects, of which there would be many in the new China.

It was revealed that the scale of Yinxu was enormous. A 5-sided construction, the city ran from Beixinzhuang in the west to Houying in the north, to Sanjiazhuang in the northeast, to Guojiawan in the east, and finally, to Liujiazhuang in the south. Yinxu was roughly 6 kilometers long and 5 kilometers wide, covering an area of 24,000 square kilometers. Its layout was such that it radiated out along one side of the Huan River, with the Ancestral Temple at Xiaotun Palace popular China tour package (a name later given to the palace ruins) at its center. The city had no walls, evidence perhaps of the expanse and the degree of authority that the king exercised in this slave society.

Many noteworthy sites have been excavated at Yinxu besides the Ancestral Temple: the Mausoleum, the site of Hougang, the Tomb of Fu Hao, and the Exhibition Hall of Chariot Pits. Lady (Queen) Fu Hao was a military leader (!) and wife of King Wu Ding. In addition to the remains of the queen, there were skeletal remains of 6 dogs and 16 slaves in the tomb. The tomb also contained numerous other precious items befitting a queen including earthenware and jewelry. The city of Yin was truly the spiritual and cultural center of the Yin Dynasty, which is the name that historians have given to the final years of the Shang Dynasty.

The Exhibition Hall of Chariot Pits served up some rare animal-driven carts, and in each of the 6 pits were found the remains of a carriage and a team of horses. There were also remains of further human sacrifices in 5 of these pits, including those of a child. Other sites within the excavation complex revealed caves and family tombs, and artifacts suggesting the existence of tribes, or large families. Various workshops were also unearthed, including ones for the casting of copper and the making of jade.

All of these finds have been carefully preserved and put on display at the museum complex, which in fact forms a park, so plentiful have been the archeological finds here. Other finds relating to the Shang Dynasty continue to be discovered in the region, and they too are collected and put on display at Yinxu Museum.

The park can be separated into 2 parts: one which focuses specifically on the oracle bones and the deciphering of their inscriptions; and one which focuses on the life and times and chronology of the Shang Dynasty China guide. Visitors will note that the appearance of the park's gate is strikingly odd. The explanation is that it was deliberately crafted so that its outline follows that of the oracle bone script word for "gate." In 2006, Yinxu was honored as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

03:58 Publié dans Voyage | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)

25/12/2013

Give the cattle a day off - the Fenlong Festival of Maonan people

Maonan people belong to montagnard of China affordable China tours. They called themselves "A'nan" which means "people of this place". They are well known for their long history and unique culture. Maonan people have many special festivals and the grandest one is "Fenlong Festival".

The Maonans in the Huanjiang Maonan Autonomous County in Guangxi hold a traditional festival around the Summer Solstice of each year -- the Fenlong Festival, also called as the Temple Festival top 10 China tour packages. It takes place in May of the lunar calendar each year, and usually lasts for two or three days. It is said that the dragon in the Heaven will supply water during this season to facilitate farmers' plowing so as to have a bumper harvest. The name came from the day when the dragon supplied water.

During the festival, no matter men and women, young and old, they dress themselves up. The young daughter-in-laws will go back to their parents' home for family reunion. They collect flowers and maple leaves to cook five-color sticky rice and worship the Supernatural Farmer in the field with sticky rice and meat hoping for a good weather and a bumper harvest popular China tour package.

People also wrap the five-color rice and meat with a sort of large fan-shaped leave and visit friends and relatives for the festal celebration.

The Fenlong Festival is also the day when young men and girls gather and date. The contents of the entertainment include antiphonal singing, etc. But nowadays, besides the worship to the ancestors and antiphonal singing, they also organize the contests of entertainments and sports.

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04:32 Publié dans Voyage | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)