Friday, July 21, 2006

Hei Long Tan

Black Dragon Pool

Black Dragon Pool

The Heilongtan (Black Dragon Pool), which lies in the Wulao Hills, is a famous sight on the northern outskirts of Kunming. A legend says that a long long time ago there were ten dragons doing great harm to the people. Lu Dong-bin, one of the Eight Deities, subdued nine of them and buried them under an ancient pagoda. A small black dragon was left here and was commanded to do good to The people. Hence the name of the pool.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Mass Burning of Joss Paper

Hungry Ghosts Festival
9 August to 6 September 2002
Mass Burning of Joss Paper

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Zong Kui Elliminating Ghosts

Zhong Kui, a legendary figure who eliminated ghosts.

Zhong, a legendary figure first mentioned in a Song dynasty book, was supposed to have lived under the Tang dynasty during the reign of the Emperor Xuan Zong.

"Zhong Kui is my name." He told the emperor that he died after failing the imperial examination for military officers, but has always resolved to wipe out all demons and monsters.

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Zhong Kui

Zhong Kui is the god of literature and examinations, the protector against evil spirits and demons.

It was believed he could protect those living there from disasters and prolong their lives by driving away evil spirits, and many people still hang his image up at the start of every year today.

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Zhong Kui

Zhong Kui

Title: Zhong Kui
Artist: Jin Bin
Size: 27" X 53"
Mounted: Yes
Original/Repro: Hand painted original
Medium: Rice paper
Date of Creation: 2005

Copyrights (c) 2005, 2006 Reserved by

Zhong Kui the Demon Queller

Ming dynasty (1368–1644), Tianqi period (1621–27) dated 1624

Unmounted sheet comprising 3 joined sheets, ink rubbed on paper; 199.7 x 109.7 cm

Date of rubbing not given, Qing dynasty (1644–1911)

This portrait, engraved on a large stone stele, depicts Zhong Kui in the pose of a warrior. However, he carries a qin (zither) and a case of books.

Copyright Holder: National Library of China Copyright 2005.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Hanging Up Zhong Kui's Portrait

In the custom of the Ming and Qing dynasties, putting up the Celestial Master's Talisman became a custom of the Duanwu festival. In some places, people even put up Talismans from the beginning of the 5th month and put them down them as late as the 1st of the 6th month. So there is a poem saying, "Every year when new Talismans replace old ones, Daoists thus have business with their followers. Vital Breath is infused into their dragon-and-snake-like strokes when they draw Talismans with red brushes." The poet's own commentary to the poem says, "Talismans are put up between two pillars on Duanyang Festival to dispel evil and invite blessings. Several days earlier, Daoists draw Talismans in red and send them to all those families that often recite scriptures. These Daoist followers are like business customers." (Street Song of the Year in Hu City by Zhang Chunhua of the Qing Dynasty)

Zhong Kui

Zhong Kui (鍾馗) is a figure of Chinese mythology. Traditionally regarded as a vanquisher of demons, his image is often painted on household gates as a guardian spirit.

Zhong Kui's popularity in folklore can be traced to the reign of Emperor Xuanzong of Tang China (712 to 756). According to Song Dynasty sources, once the Emperor Xuanzong was gravely ill. He had a dream in which he saw two ghosts. The smaller of the ghosts stole a purse from imperial consort Yang Guifei and a flute belonging to the emperor. The bigger ghost, wearing the hat of an official, captured the smaller ghost, tore out his eye and ate it. The bigger ghost then introduced himself as Zhong Kui. He said that he had sworn to rid the empire of evil.

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