Posts Tagged colors

Forbidden City

Beijing, China

The Forbidden City was amazing…  It felt like a real privilege to walk around an area that, only 60 years ago, had been closed to all but the highest ranks of the Imperial government.

Built during 1406 – 1420, the Forbidden City was home to Chinese Emperors for close to five centuries.  No one could leave or enter the city without the Emperor’s permission.

The picture above is a single marble carving of 9 dragons.  It weighs over 200 tons and took 20,000 workers 28 days to move into the Forbidden City.  I wish I could have fully captured the detail on this beautiful marble stairway, because it was outstanding.

Something unfathomable to me was the amount of buildings needed for the Emperor.  He had buildings for sleeping, mating, eating, meditating, writing and the list goes on.  These buildings weren’t exactly tiny either.

Particularly humorous to me was a set of three rather large buildings, in close proximity.  Each building had a different purpose but they were apparently always used in succession.  The first building was solely for the Emperor to change clothes.   Basically, it was a giant closet.  He would then walk, 20 feet, to the second building “to take a rest.”  This building held nothing but a giant couch-like object in the center.  After his rest, the Emperor would then walk 25 feet to the third building.  This final building would be similar to what I think of as an office.  Government officials would meet to discuss business with the Emperor.

In the Forbidden City, everything you see has some sort of symbolism.  Each color, animal and number is chosen carefully and with purpose.  Odd numbers are used for men and even numbers are used for women.  Nine was considered sacred and the Emperor’s building and throne was surrounded by groups of nine statues, steps, animals…

Forbidden City

Animals and their symbolism:

  • Dragon – Male, power, strength
  • Phoenix -Female, power, luck
  • Tortoise – Longevity, strength
  • Crane – Longevity, beauty
  • Tiger – Strength, courage

Colors and their symbolism:

  • Yellow – Color of the emperor
  • Red – Wards off evil spirits
  • Green – Earth (or wood) and growth
  • Black – Water (also meaning fire protection, so for example the library had a black rooftop)

Forbidden City (from Jingshan Park), Beijing Tile work, Forbidden City, BeijingBronze tortoise, Forbidden City, Beijing

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Fall Colors

Perfect weather in Korea doesn’t happen but only a few weeks in Fall.  The weather is wonderful and the scenery is even better.

Yellows, oranges, reds, purples, greens…. gorgeous.  It looked like pages from a storybook.

Changdeokgung (Palace) was especially vibrant this Fall season.  I visited this palace in the summer with Seth’s parents, but it was a completely different visit this time.  I was in heaven.

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Taiwan Flowers

Even more amazing flowers spread out through Taiwan.
Taipei is hosting the 2010 International Flower Expo. I saw them fixing and repairing the stadium on our visit.The event seems to be a big deal for the area.  Taipei is also home to the International Gardening and Horticultural Expo. After seeing the Taiwan country side and witnessing some of the natural beauty, I can see why such Expos choose this area to host.  I did not, however, get any pictures of the Botanical Garden.  It was an amazing sight to see, but I did not have the camera.

Purple Lotus (DSCN1240) Coreopsis

flower in the rain ?? Water lily

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More Flowers

Bright pinks, fiery oranges, sunshine yellows, royal purples and deep greens are found all over this beautiful country.  Flowers keep me sane.

Most intriguing, to me, is the 2nd flower image.  Although this flower looks simple in design, it stood out like the red headed child amidst it’s plain brown haired siblings.  This flower was one of the few flowers in the patch that had a burgundy center.  The many other surrounding flowers looked like Black Eyed Susans, their bright orange petals extending all the way to the center.  Such an amazing flower patch.  I enjoy finding new or exotic flowers.  They may not be exotic to Korea, but at least new and exotic to me.

This lovely assortment of flowers has been captured on film by either Seth or myself.  :mrgreen:

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Just An Ordinary Weekend

Saturday was a perfect example of why I love living in Sanbon.  I was on my way to the store and heard music.  Of course, I was curious.  There is a permanent wooden stage set up in the downtown area of Sanbon.  The stage was full of color.  It was a full day of traditional Korean music, dance and song.  The costumes were gorgeous.

I was the only white person watching the entertainment. I guess the woman in charge thought it was fabulous that I was there because she actually came and asked if I would mind posing for pictures with her and some of the singers. Very weird. Unfortunately, I did not get anyone to take a picture with my camera.

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:razz: Since the weather has warmed up, the flowers have been blooming in full force.  It is gorgeous here.  Some of the flowers I recognize, but others I have never seen.  Flowers make me happy.

Tree peony flowerMorning in All Its GloryCambridge (Hespeler) Ontario: Goatsbeard (Aruncus)

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Welcome to Busan

We took a train to Busan this weekend. In Korea they have a fast train called the KTX. It is a magnetic train that traveled between 265 and 301 km per hour! (that’s about 187 mph) The normal train takes about 5 hours to get to Busan from Seoul… but the KTX makes the same trip in only 2.5 hours. Amazing.  Once in Busan, I loved it from the start.  These are some pictures from around the Busan Station:

What a gorgeous welcome sign.

What a gorgeous welcome sign.

I love lanterns

I love lanterns

Loved this dragon

Colorful dragon

Seth and I took a mini-holiday.  This was a well deserved, highly needed getaway.  It was also nice to see more of Korea.  Busan is on the South East coast of Korea.  The train ride provided views of farms and smaller towns all along the way.

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Cherry Blossoms

This weekend we went to Namsan to enjoy the Cherry Blossoms.  It was the most beautiful walk I have been on in a long time.


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Election Time

I thought I had escaped the annoying election signs, commercials, announcements… I was wrong.  In the past week, everyday there is a different candidate speaking in Sanbon, on street corners or downtown.  They are all numbered 1-4.  I guess it’s easier to keep them separated that way.  Who needs a name anyway, right?  Well, these men have giant jumbo-trons that play commercials from what look like RVs.  The RVs are painted in the candidates colors… they all have different colors.  Yellow and purple, green and yellow, red and blue, and I forget the 4th.

Last night Seth and I were walking in the downtown square of Sanbon.  It’s always busy and has lots of people walking to the various stores… but one cool thing is that no cars drive down the main street.  Last night, however, there was one of those election RVs parked in the center square blaring some loud announcement and had people dancing to music.

Women dancing for their candidate

Women dancing for their candidate

Most of their dancing consisted of waving arms and bouncing their legs up in the air.  It was quite comical.  But a constant theme was the peace symbol.  If you can see… there’s the tv screen, and the #2.  They danced around for the whole 20 minutes we were outside there… so I have no idea how long before or after, but I’m sure it was a while.

Lady giving constant peace symbol.

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Along the streets of Sanbon, they have hung these gorgeous lanterns.  They make me happy. :mrgreen: I love walking down the street with these colorful decorations.

View from our apt

View from our apt

These are down a different street

These are down a different street

It’s the little things in life that make it all worth while…

Today is a gorgeous day.  Seth is playing his guitar and we’ve got about 2 hours before we need to be at work.

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