Culture Bridge: Chinese La-ba Festival

The Laba Festival 臘八節/腊八节) is celebrated on the eighth (ba 八) day of the 12th month (la yue 腊月) and is one of the most important traditional festivals in Chinese culture. It is also a prelude to the Chinese Lunar New Year. This year the La Ba Festival falls on Jan 27.
The festival was originally a day of thanks for a good harvest and sacrifice to ancestors. The festival was used as commemoration of Gautama Buddha’s enlightenment at the age of 35. Therefore, many customs of the Laba Festival are related to Buddhism.  In the Qing dynasty, ceremonies for the Laba festival would have been held in the Yonghe Temple in Beijing.
Elderly having their laba porridge on the laba festival

Elderly women eating laba rice porridge on Laba festival

Customs:

Ancestor worship (祭祖jì zǔ):

The reason lunar December is called La Yue has a lot to do with the custom of sacrifice. First, the worship of ancestors and the sacrifice for the gods both frequently took place in the twelfth month, which led to the traditional name of the month: La Yue(腊月). Second, winter is the slack season for farmers so they have time to find things to burn in the sacrifice.
Ancestor worship

Ancestor worship

Laba Rice Porridge (腊八粥 là bā zhōu): There are several legends about the origin of porridge eating on Laba:

Siddhārtha Gautama (the Buddha) once attempted to find the right path to awakening by starving himself. One day, when he was starved and weakened, he met a village girl who gave him milk and rice pudding (congee) after mistaking him for a spirit who granted her a wish. He attained enlightenment not long after that incident. Some say the porridge, made of red beans, has the power to exorcise evil from little kids.
Zhu Yuanzhang, the founder of the Ming Dynasty, used to live in poverty before he rose to power. He ate congee during those hard times. After becoming the emperor, he asked the people to eat congee as well. The custom of porridge eating has been well-known throughout history, from the royal court to common people. Almost every region in China has its own local recipe for Laba porridge. Eating hot porridge is great in cold winter, and the grain and nuts are considered healthy winter fare.
Laba porridge is mostly made of rice and sticky rice, but can also include sugar, red dates, lotus seeds, walnuts, chestnuts, almonds, longans, hazelnuts, raisins, red beans, peanuts, water caltrops, roseleaf and other “treasures” (hence its other name, “eight treasure porridge”).

Laba porridge is mostly made of rice and sticky rice, but can also include sugar, red dates, lotus seeds, walnuts, chestnuts, almonds, longans, hazelnuts, raisins, red beans, peanuts, water caltrops, roseleaf and other “treasures” (hence its other name, “eight treasure porridge”).

Laba garlic (腊八蒜 là bā suàn): It is an old Beijing custom to soak purple-peel garlic with vinegar and a little sugar for twenty days starting from the Laba festival. When the whole family gets together for the dumpling feast on Spring Festival Eve, they take out the Laba garlic which will be crisp, with a vinegary flavor and a green color.

Vinegar with the aroma of garlic is the best seasoning for dumplings.

Vinegar with the aroma of garlic is the best seasoning for dumplings.

Beating Spring Ox:

On the first day of spring the government would hold a ceremony called “Beating Spring Ox” with the purpose of encouraging farming.  After the ritual of “Beating Spring”, people would compete in grabbing the scattered pieces of the earthen ox, which would dispel pests or ants, and bring them good harvest in farming and abundant production of silk and livestock.

Officials  using a colorful club to beat an earthen ox after worshiping the God of Grain; this was the so-called “Scourging Spring”.

Officials using a colorful club to beat an earthen ox after worshiping the God of Grain; this was the so-called “Scourging Spring”. Even today, people in some places name Spring Begins as Beating Spring.

Info-bits:

1. The most authentic porridge is made in Northern China, especially Beiping (北平).

2. Customs of having La-ba porridge is preserved in Northeast China, Northwest China and Jiangnan but it has become rarer in Southern parts of China.

3. During the rule of Qing dynasty, ceremonies for the Laba festival would have been held in the Yonghe Temple in Beijing.

Source: Wikipedia & hujiang;    Pic source: hujiang and google search.

Changchun’s First Frozen Restaurant

长春现冰餐厅 cháng chūn xiàn “ bīng cān tīng ”

Have you ever imagined yourself sitting in a freezer and having lunch????

Yes, in a freezer…

If it is so, then you could make it a reality by just visiting Changchun, Jilin Province, China.

ICe restaurant Changchun (4)

Entrance to the Restaurant..

This restaurant is now a coolest place to hangout to enjoy some spicy hot pot. Customers can have hotpot and drinks in the ice rooms and enjoy “extreme ‘chill’ax sleep” on ice beds.

People

Customers having Hotpot ..

Frozen bar

Customers having drinks in the ice bar..

This newly-opened ice restaurant and bar is decorated with colorful lights which add warmth and brightness to the icy rooms, reported China News Service. The dining establishment also features a small “guestroom” where visitors can hop on an ice bed and pose for photos. Covering an area of 80 square meters, the ice restaurant was built by 20 workers in half a month.

Frozen bar

Frozen bar

Ice restaurant Changchun (5)

A girl posing on an ice bed for photos..

Well, I would have had my taste buds taste a real ‘cool’ thing if they would have built it couple of years ago… 😛

Source: Chinanew.com

My First Snowfall: Winter Is “Snow” Much Fun

During my childhood, I was always excited in the winter not just because of climatic change, I used to pass the time by watching cartoons in cartoon network which is filled with snow all around. As I hail from a tropical climate where Snowfall is limited just to the dreams, that day when I first saw snowfall I forgot How, where and what I am? Just jumping with joy all around the place like a kid whose dream is fulfilled…

The first fall of snow is not only an event; it is a mere magical one.
You go to bed in one kind of a world and wake up with a different persona and if this is not delight then where it could be?

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Oh! the Snow, the beautiful Snow,

changchun-3days-of-heavy-snow

Filling the sky and earth below,img1-5

Over the housetops, over the street,large_7zkf_3c1b00004617125d

Over the heads of the people you meet.

Follow your instincts and live the moments:

This experience will always have a special place in my heart forever as it is first experience all together. Friends whenever you get to see the snow for the first time don’t think of What, Where and how you are just go with your instincts live the moments. and have the divine memories

Thursday Throwback: With Confucius Quotes

Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.(我们最大的光荣不在于永不跌倒,而是每次跌倒)

Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.
(我们最大的光荣不在于永不跌倒,而是每次跌倒)

Chose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. (知之者不如好之者,好之者不如乐之者。)

Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.
(知之者不如好之者,好之者不如乐之者。)

If you think in terms of a year, plant a seed; if in terms of ten years, plant trees; if in terms of 100 years, teach the people. (如果你想在一年任期,植物种子;如果在十年来,种树;如果在100年,教人)

If you think in terms of a year, plant a seed; if in terms of ten years, plant trees;
if in terms of 100 years, teach the people.
(如果你想在一年任期,植物种子;如果在十年来,种树;如果在100年,教人)

When you know a thing, to hold that you know it; and when you do not know a thing, to allow that you do not know it--this is knowledge.(知之为知之,不知为不知,是知也).

When you know a thing, to hold that you know it; and when you do not know a thing, to allow that you do not know it–this is knowledge.(知之为知之,不知为不知,是知也).

It is better to light one small candle than to curse the darkness. (它是不如点燃一根小蜡烛诅咒黑暗)

It is better to light one small candle than to curse the darkness.
(它是不如点燃一根小蜡烛诅咒黑暗)

Life is really simple,  but we insist on making it complicated. (生活一直都很简单,但是我们也一直都忍不住要把它变得很复杂)

Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated. (生活一直都很简单,但是我们也一直都忍不住要把它变得很复杂)

Beijing Diaries: Life in Monochrome-II

Incense sticks also called agarbattis dispels bad odor and keeps the environment in and around the temple pure and unblemished. A person feels happy entering the premises because of the smell of camphor and incense. On a human plane it means that we should sacrifice ourselves to serve society, in the process spread the perfume of love and happiness to all.

Incense sticks also called agarbattis dispels bad odor and keeps the environment in and around the temple pure and unblemished. A person feels happy entering the premises because of the smell of camphor and incense. On a human plane it means that we should sacrifice ourselves to serve society, in the process spread the perfume of love and happiness to all.

“Prayer is not asking. Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God, at His disposition, and listening to His voice in the depth of our hearts.”  ― Mother Teresa

“Prayer is not asking. Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God, at His disposition, and listening to His voice in the depth of our hearts.”― Mother Teresa
People Praying at Yongheguan temple

Beijing is referred to as an ancient capital of 5 dynasties五朝古都 (The Yuan, Ming, Qing, Liao and Jin). It had an extensive fortification system, consisting of the Forbidden City, the Imperial city, the Inner city, and the Outer city. Fortifications included gate towers, gates, archways, watchtowers, barbicans etc., It had the most extensive defense system in Imperial China.

Beijing is referred to as an ancient capital of 5 dynasties五朝古都 (The Yuan, Ming, Qing, Liao and Jin). It had an extensive fortification system, consisting of the Forbidden City, the Imperial city, the Inner city, and the Outer city. Fortifications included gate towers, gates, archways, watchtowers, barbicans etc., It had the most extensive defense system in Imperial China.

Women feeding the street: Spotted at Liang ma qiao Bei street

Women feeding the street: Spotted at Liang ma qiao Bei street

Man making street food: I try street foods for a number of reasons, One is that they are reasonably priced and delicious than the foods which are sold in restaurants and other is to experience ethnic cuisines and also for nostalgia.

Man making street food: I try street foods for a number of reasons, One is that they are reasonably priced and delicious than the foods which are sold in restaurants and other is to experience ethnic cuisines and also for nostalgia.

“It is a beggar's pride that he is not a thief” -Japanese proverb

“It is a beggar’s pride that he is not a thief” -Japanese proverb

An advanced city is not a place where the poor move about in cars, rather it’s where even the rich use public transportation -Enrique Penalosa

An advanced city is not a place where the poor move about in cars, rather it’s where even the rich use public transportation -Enrique Penalosa

Beijing Diaries: Life in Monochrome- I

Beijing Diaries (4)

Qianmen Avenue: Time runs too fast at this place.. One of the most happening places in Beijing..

Paifang is a traditional Chinese architectural gating style as an arch. This have been derived from the torana temple-gate in ancient India, though it has taken on traditional Chinese architectural characteristics such as multi-tiered roofs, various supporting posts, and archway-shapes of traditional gates and towers. Source: Wikipedia

Paifang is a traditional Chinese architectural gating style as an arch.
This have been derived from the torana temple-gate in ancient India, though it has taken on traditional Chinese architectural characteristics such as multi-tiered roofs, various supporting posts, and archway-shapes of traditional gates and towers. Source: Wikipedia

Beijing local Motor Vehicle transport: Very accessible, cost effective and illegal transport..

Beijing local Motor Vehicle transport: Very accessible,quick &  cost effective for small distance travels..

Korean local foods on Beijing streets.. fish cakes  may be?

Korean local Foods on Beijing Streets.. Fish cakes ?

A man checking the map whether he is lost or not.. :P One of the best part of this city is that every bus stop and subway has a city map.. Very useful for travellers..

A man checking the map whether he is lost or not…
One of the best part of this city is that every bus stop and subway has a city map.. which is useful for travellers & Beijingers..

Panjiayuan Antique Market: Best place to explore in Beijing to know the Chinese history and arts.

Panjiayuan Antique Market: Best place to explore to know the Chinese history and arts.

Beijing Diaries: Memories Through the Years

When I was a kid, I heard that “One never reaches home, but wherever friendly paths intersect the whole world looks like home for a time.” I totally echo with this statement. After Changchun, Beijing is my 2nd home in China. Whenever I get Vacations, I used to go to Beijing to spend my vacations to hang out with my friends. With the love and affection of my friends Emily jiang, Zhiqin zhou and Haijun yang families, I never thought I was in a different place. I am more familiar with the roads and streets of Beijing than any other city(not even my home town :p ). In this particular post I wanna recollect all those nostalgic memories.

Night is to see the dreams and day is to make them true. So its good to sleep now and see the dreams.

Night is to see the dreams and day is to make them true. So its good to sleep now and see the dreams.

Great Wall of china- Changcheng长城 one of the world wonder... I'm lucky that I visited this wonder in all the seasons.. 2008winter, 2010summer & 2012spring.. Every time I visit this a new memory pops-up This mighty wall is seen from space: Based on the photograph taken by leroy chiao an American-Chinese astronaut, the China Daily later reported that the Great Wall can be seen from 'space' with the naked eye, under favorable viewing conditions, if one knows exactly where to look.

Great Wall of china- Changcheng长城 one of the world wonder… I’m lucky that I visited this wonder in all the 3 seasons.. 2008 Winter, 2010 Summer & 2012 Spring.. Every time I visit this a new memory pops-up.  This mighty wall is seen from space: Based on the photograph taken by leroy chiao an American-Chinese astronaut, the China Daily later reported that the Great Wall can be seen from ‘space’ with the naked eye, under favorable viewing conditions, if one knows exactly where to look.

Near Mao’s Mausoleum, I saw this imposing gate which was quite impressive. So, I walked closer and then read about this on my travel across china book then I got to know that how important this gate is to the city. So I decided to go in and have a closer look.  Apparently this gate is considered the Front Gate to Beijing in those olden days. Officially, this is called Zhengyangmen but it is more known as Qianmen which mean the Front Gate. When Beijing was established as the capital of China, they build a wall around the city for protection. The Inner City was totally surrounded by a wall and access into the city is through 9 gates. The wall stood for almost 600 years. The saddest part is that about 50 years ago, they … tore down the city walls! It is such a crazy thing to destroy something of such historic significance. But it was in those days of the Communist rule that was bent on destroying the past so that they can look to the future, something called the Cultural Revolution. In place of the walls are now wide ring roads and subway.

Near Mao’s Mausoleum, I saw this imposing gate which was quite impressive. So, I walked closer and then read about this on my travel across china book then I got to know that how important this gate is to the city. So I decided to go in and have a closer look. Apparently this gate is considered the Front Gate to Beijing in those olden days. Officially, this is called Zhengyangmen but it is more known as Qianmen which mean the Front Gate.  When Beijing was established as the capital of China, they build a wall around the city for protection. The Inner City was totally surrounded by a wall and access into the city is through 9 gates. The wall stood for almost 600 years. The saddest part is that about 50 years ago, they … tore down the city walls! It is such a crazy thing to destroy something of such historic significance. But it was in those days of the Communist rule that was bent on destroying the past so that they can look to the future, something called the Cultural Revolution. In place of these walls, there are now wide ring roads and subways .

The Beijing Railway Station(北京火车站):Is the first-rate important railway in China running mainly long-haul journeys, it is honored to be the greeting gate of the nation. Built in 1901, it covers an area of nearly 72 acres. It is opened in 1959 and was the largest train station in China at the time. Though superseded by the larger Beijing West and Beijing South Stations, this station remains the only one.

The Beijing Railway Station(北京火车站):Is the first-rate important railway in China running mainly long-haul journeys, it is honored to be the greeting gate of the nation. Built in 1901, it covers an area of nearly 72 acres. It is opened in 1959 and was the largest train station in China at the time. Though superseded by the larger Beijing West and Beijing South Stations, this station remains the only one.

Zhengyangmen gate was first built in 1419 during the Ming Dynasty and once consisted of the gatehouse proper and an archery tower, which were connected by side walls and together with side gates, formed a large barbican. The gate guarded the direct entry into the imperial city. The city's first railway station, known as the Qianmen Station, was built just outside the gate. During the Boxer Rebellion of 1900, the gate sustained considerable damage when the Eight-Nation Alliance invaded the city. The gate complex was extensively reconstructed in 1914. The Barbican side gates were torn down in 1915.

Zhengyangmen gate was first built in 1419 during the Ming Dynasty and once consisted of the gatehouse proper and a archery tower, which were connected by side walls and together with side gates, formed a large barbican. The gate guarded the direct entry into the imperial city. The city’s first railway station known as the Qianmen Station, was built just outside the gate. During the Boxer Rebellion of 1900, the gate sustained considerable damage when the Eight-Nation Alliance invaded the city. The gate complex was extensively reconstructed in 1914. The Barbican side gates were torn down in 1915.

Qianmen Dajie is a recently restored pedestrian street in the architectural style of old Peking with little shops & restaurants. Connected to Qianmen, the Dashilar area is a vibrant mix of historic shops and hutong streets.

Qianmen Dajie is a recently restored pedestrian street in the architectural style of old Peking with little shops & restaurants. Connected to Qianmen, the Dashilar area is a vibrant mix of historic shops and hutong streets.

Qianmen avenue is a 570 year old pedestrian market. Infact this has many craftsman workshops, warehouses and theatres in the Hutongs nearby. Without a visit to this place, your trip to Beijing will be incomplete..

Qianmen avenue is a 570 year old pedestrian market. Infact this has many craftsman workshops, warehouses and theatres in the Hutongs nearby. Without a visit to this place, your trip to Beijing would be incomplete..

China Architecture: Architecture and culture are closely related to each other. Many buildings contain cultural connotations. The cultural facts will help people better understand the architectural structure and the design.

Chinese Architecture: Architecture and culture are closely related to each other. Many buildings contain cultural connotations. The cultural facts will help people better understand the architectural structure and the design.

Tiananmen square is known as "the heart of China". Tiananmen Gate is brightly lit up in the evening.

Tiananmen square is known as “the heart of China”. Tiananmen Gate is brightly lit up in the evening.

Terracotta warriors – ‘Platoons of clay soldiers protecting the emperor during his eternal rest’

One of the main highlights of our trip to Xi’an was Terracotta warriors. One may hear of the Terra-Cotta Warriors, but seeing them is another thing. This is a place that is like a hidden treasure, even though it is written everywhere how great and stunning it is, when you are there in person the experience is overwhelming. The Terracotta Warriors and Horses are the most significant archeological excavations of the 20th century.

Platoons of clay soldiers were buried with the emperor Qinshihuang to  accompany him in his after life..

Platoons of clay soldiers were buried with the emperor Qinshihuang to accompany him in his after life..

The Terracotta Army or the “Terracotta Warriors and Horses(兵马俑 binmayong)” is a collection of terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. It is a form of funerary art buried with the emperor in 210–209 BCE and whose purpose was to protect the emperor in his afterlife.  This army is located in Lintong district, Xian, Shaanxi province, China.

This is how China's first unifier has been buried..

China’s first unifier has been buried along with Terracotta warriors..

Upon ascending the throne at the age of 13 (in 246 BC), Qin Shi Huang, later the first Emperor of all China, had begun to work for his mausoleum. It took 11 years to finish. It is speculated that many buried treasures and sacrificial objects had accompanied the emperor in his after life. The Terracotta Army was built on the emperor’s orders to guard the underground palace where he was buried, to protect him in the afterlife. Just as the palace mirrored the imperial capital, the warriors replicated the imperial guard. 

These intricately detailed statues were posed as if ready for a fight.

These intricately detailed statues were posed as if ready for a fight.

These Life size terracotta warriors and horses are exhibited in a museum which is huge and is divided into three sections: No. 1 Pit, No. 2 Pit, and No. 3 Pit respectively. They were tagged in the order of their discoveries. No. 1 Pit is the largest and is the awesome one. There are columns of soldiers at the front, followed by war chariots at the back. No. 2 Pit It contained over a thousand warriors and 90 chariots of wood. It looked like to be the command center of the armed forces. It went on display in 1989, with 68 warriors, a war chariot and four horses.There are several covered “pits” where the warriors and horses are on display in their original placements. Beyond the actual artifacts, there is great shopping as part of the complex. 

They are replicas of what the imperial guard should look like in those days of pomp and vigor. 

They are replicas of what the imperial guard should look like in those days of pomp and vigor.

Discovery of Terracotta warriors:

A group of peasants uncovered some pottery while digging for a well nearby the royal tomb in 1974. It caught the attention of archeologists immediately. They came to Xian in droves to study and to extend the digs. They had established beyond doubt that these artifacts were associated with the Qin Dynasty.

One of the farmer who discovered the terracotta warriors is still alive at 83(maybe); Our driver took us to the bookstore  and introduced us to that man. We were lucky enough to meet the man behind this amazing discovery. You can buy the books which are autographed by him and you need to pay him a small fee if you want to take a picture with him. I still remember how our driver praised my linguistic skills while introducing me to this man. He was curious to know about my life that how I learned the language,culture  and many things. He was quite impressed with us(may be) and didn’t charge anything for the picture.

Terracota warriors (2)

Swetha,Piyush,Teena, Me and Goutham with the man behind this amazing discovery.

This is an archeological treasure that is not to be missed. It is one of the most important discoveries of the twentieth century in China and, seeing it live is truly amazing.Don’t miss this if you plan a trip to China.

Sunset at Southlake, Changchun

During my College days, I used to go to southlake along with my friends to kill our leisure time. Generally we go there to view sunsets and rarely sunrises which always help us to relax our minds. I think this is the only place where I’ve seen so many sunsets or sunrises than any other.  And I still remember in my first year of med school, my friends Zhaoxin & Vikky Yingsu who taught me basics in Chinese language at the time of sunsets. I cannot forget those beautiful days and this post is to show my gratitude towards them for making me to realize the importance of local language in very early days of my China journey.

“Sunset is a wonderful opportunity for us to appreciate all the great things the sun gives us!”  ― Mehmet Murat

“Sunset is a wonderful opportunity for us to appreciate all the great things the sun gives us!”       ―Mehmet Murat

When I admire the wonder of a sunset of the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in worship of the creator  -Mahatma Gandhi

When I admire the wonder of a sunset of the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in worship of the creator.    -Mahatma Gandhi

Two golden hours somewhere between sunrise and sunset. Both are set with 60 diamond minutes. No reward is offered. They are gone forever. -Horace Mann

Two golden hours somewhere between sunrise and sunset. Both are set with 60 diamond minutes. No reward is offered. They are gone forever. -Horace Mann

May every sunrise holds more promise and every sunset holds more peace..

May every sunrise holds more promise and every sunset holds more peace..Have a great week ahead friends.

The Bell tower and The Drum tower of xi’an

It was 22 April 2013, a rainy day, we started early from our hotel. As I being an Archeological lover, though we are not so familiar about the destination, we have opted for the Forest of steles (it has 7 exhibition halls displaying 3000 steles). We took a bus to Forest of steles (碑林) and walked all the way long for about 20 minutes. Later we roamed around observing the streets and tried some local cuisines.  After reaching the destination it was piao liang (beautiful in Chinese) all the trouble we took to reach this place has looked nothing. Before we left to Drum and Bell tower of Xi’an, we went to City wall of Xian and spent some good time there till 5pm.

Drum tower

The Drum tower of Xi’an, China

Since our hotel was near to Bell Tower and Drum Tower. While walking to our hotel at nights on 20 & 21. We discovered that it was more magnificent and spectacular at night. So we planned our visit at night time.It was 6.30 pm since we reach the Bell tower, By the time we reach there it was lit-up. We were awestruck with beauty of these magnificent buildings at night.

Bell Tower:

History of the Bell Tower of Xi’an (Chinese: 西安钟楼), built in 1384 during the early Ming Dynasty, is a symbol of the city of Xi’an and one of the grandest of its kind in China. The Bell Tower also contains several large bronze-cast bells from the Tang Dynasty.

Large Bell in Bell tower of Xi'an

Large Bell in Bell tower of Xi’an

Stories behind the tower:

There are several legends regarding the Bell Tower, one of them tells: In Ming Dynasty, several earthquakes struck Guanzhong area, thousands were dead and injured. Then a legend appeared: There was a great river flowing across the center of Xi’an City.  A dragon in the river was always active and caused trouble, so an earthquake occurred. An official of Xi’an government believed these words, so he ordered the blacksmiths of the whole city to make a several thousand feet of long iron chain in order to lock the dragon and sink it to river. He then ordered 5,000 craftsmen to repair the Bell Tower day and night in order to use the tower to restrain the dragon. He believed this would suppress the dragon firmly under the river and so it would no longer be active and cause trouble again. After establishing the Bell Tower, earthquakes never occurred in Xi’an again.

Architecture of Bell tower, XI'an

Amazing Architecture of Bell tower

According to another legend:

The forefather of Ming Dynasty named Zhu Yuanzhang was born poor and his parents passed away early. He depended on tending sheep for others when he was very little. When he grew up, he left home and became a monk. When he became the emperor, he was afraid that the real emperor (“dragon son of heaven”-means king sent from heaven, a dragon is the symbol of the emperor) in the country somewhere will fight for the throne with him. He then ordered to build the bell towers to suppress the “dragon power”. Xi’an was the emperor city in ancient times and it was the place of emperor’s throne and the “dragon power” was very strong of course. Zhu Yuanzhang was afraid, so the Bell Tower in Xi’an was built not only quickly, but also very tall.

View from the Bell tower, xian

View from the Bell tower, xian

Walking towards Drum tower through an underground access: After an hour or so we went to Drum tower through an underground access.Once we Reached Drum tower we were awestruck with the beauty of this building. It transformed into a completely new place. Lights played a major role in displaying its architecture and beauty.

View of the Drum tower from the Bell tower.

View of the Drum tower from the Bell tower.

Drum tower:

History of the Drum Tower (西安鼓楼): Along with the Bell Tower it is a symbol of the city. Erected in 1380 during the early Ming Dynasty.

The Drum Tower got its name from the huge drum located within the building. Drum was beat at sunset to indicate the end of the day. On the Drum Tower’s first floor, lies a hall which hangs many large drums. Each was decorated with intrinsic and beautiful Chinese writing, which symbolizes good fortune.

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The impressive arrays of drums

Inside the Drum Tower there is also a drum museum, where a variety of drums are on display, some of which can be dated back thousands of years. There is a drum show performed here every day. The top of the tower commands a panoramic view of the city.Visitors can go upstairs to the second floor, and enjoy the views around the Drum Tower. Meanwhile, you will notice that there are twenty-four drums in the north and south sides of the Drum Tower. These drums stand for the Twenty-four Solar Terms which is a kind of weather calendar created by the Chinese ancients in order to guide the agricultural production.

Drum tower of Xi'an, China

Lights played a major role in displaying the architecture of Drum tower.

In modern times, the Drum Tower is not used as a timer any more, but there are some new attractions for visitors to enjoy. In the year of 1996, a new drum, covered by a whole piece of cowhide was given a place on the Drum Tower. It is the biggest drum in China at present.

Drum tower of Xian, China

I took a lot of time for capturing the moon along with the Drum tower.

I can assure you that going there during the night is an awesome experience. I spent around 1hour taking Pictures. My friends were like “gash! When will you finish?” But the time I spent really paid me off. I’ve captured some terrific pictures.After finishing the photo session we went to explore the local foods in the Beiyuanmen muslim street .