Yellow Emperor Hometown, Huangdi Hometown, Yellow Emperor Birthplace

Yellow Emperor Hometown is the place where the Yellow Emperor was born, grew up and established his capital. It is located in Xinzheng, 40 kilometers (25 miles) south of Zhengzhou. In the Han Dynasty (202-220 BC), Xuanyuan temple was built here to commemorate the Yellow Emperor. After more than 2000 years of metamorphism and restoration, the present Huangdi hometown scenic spot came into being. Now it is the most important place for Chinese at home and abroad to worship their ancestors.

Yellow Emperor Hometown in Xinzheng City is the birthplace, entrepreneurship and capital of Xuanyuan Huangdi, the first ancestor of Chinese culture. There are records of Bamboo Annals in the Warring States period and historical records in the Han Dynasty. Xuanyuan temple was built in the Han Dynasty, which was built successively. In the fourth year of Longqing in Ming Dynasty, Xuanyuan bridge was built in front of the temple. In the fifty fourth year of Kangxi in Qing Dynasty, Xu Chaozhu, the county magistrate of Xinzheng, set up a monument of “Xuanyuan hometown” in front of the temple.

Since the 1990s, the scenic area of the Yellow Emperor’s hometown of Xinzheng City has been expanded many times, with an area of 70000 square meters. The overall layout highlights the theme of “the root of China”. From north to south, it is xuanyuanqiu Baizu District, Temple District and Zhonghua surname Square District, which constitute the three plates of “heaven, earth and man”. It is magnificent and solemn.

The Yellow Emperor, the first of the five emperors in the historical records, is a mythical figure in ancient China. Most of the Chinese emperors set up temples and mausoleums for the Yellow Emperor to obtain the legitimacy of symbolic rule. It is an important symbol of Chinese culture, known as the ancestor of the Chinese nation. Some scholars believe that it started with the promotion of intellectuals in the late Qing Dynasty, from the three emperors and the five emperors in the age of Chinese legends Stand out from the crowd and become the ancestor of the Han nation and even the Chinese nation.

Heptachord Terrace, Friendship Between Yu Boya and Zhong Ziqi

The Heptachord Terrace was built in honor of the sincere friendship between Yu Boya and Zhong Ziqi during the Song Dynasty (960 – 1279).Heptachord Terrace, or Guqin Tai to give it its Chinese name, is located in the north of the Hanyang District of Wuhan City, Hubei Province. It is situated at the west of Tortoise Hill and on the bank of the Moon Lake.

The Heptachord Terrace is a reminder of the legend of Yu Boya, who was a famous official who lived in the Jin State during the the Spring and Autumn Period (770 – 476B.C.), and was an expert heptachord player. One day, Yu Boya played two pieces of music on his way home by boat from an official visit to the Chu State. One was a composition called ‘High Mountain’ and the other ‘Flowing Water’. To Yu Boya’s amazement Zhong Ziqi, a woodcutter, understood and appreciated his music. Yu Boya admired Zhong Ziqi’s musical attainment and after a long conversation they became bosom friends. Since Yu Boya had to return to his state, they agreed to meet again in the coming year. Unfortunately, Yu Boya found that his friend had died from a disease before their planned meeting could take place and understandably he was deeply grieved upon hearing the sad news. Upon setting up an altar near his friend’s grave and burning incense there, he played ‘High Mountain’ and ‘Flowing Water’ once again. The emotion of the music was so strong that it was as if the rivers and the mountains were crying. When he had finished playing, the distraught musician broke his heptachord to pieces. From then on, Yu Boya never played again.

The Heptachord Terrace is surrounded by water on three sides. The scenery is very beautiful. In addition to the stone platform, there is a hall called “high mountains and flowing water” standing on the site. Other recreational facilities in the area include courtyards, teahouses and botanical gardens. At the entrance of the seventh harmonic stage, you will see a colorful glazed tile hall with the words “Guqin stage”. When you go to the north, you will see a screen facing the door with the Chinese characters written by Emperor Daoguang of the Qing Dynasty (1875-1909). Through a small door on the east side of the screen wall, a winding corridor is in front of you. Here, you will see many stone carvings and inscriptions to commemorate the restoration of the Heptachord Terrace. On the west side of the corridor is a seven corner hall, in front of which is a white marble terrace. It is said that Yu Boya plays his musical instrument on this platform. There is a wax exhibition, which depicts how the two became good friends. At the same time, there is a white marble statue of yuboya playing the seventh chord.


Rishengchang Former Bank, One of the Earliest Exchange Shops in China

The Rishengchang Former Bank (Rishengchang literally meaning sunrise prosperity), one of the earliest exchange shops in China, is located on West Street in Pingyao Ancient City, Shanxi Province. The rectangular compound faces north and is 65 meters (71 yards) long and 20 meters (22 yards) wide. In total it occupies over 1,300 square meters (approximately a third of an acre). It was established in 1823 during the Qing Dynasty (1644 – 1911). At that time it had over 35 branches in China’s major cities. In December 1995, Shanxi Provincial Government listed it as a Provincial Key Cultural Relic under the Reservation and it is now the Chinese Exchange Shop Museum.

In the Qing Dynasty, China’s currency was silver. If merchants had to carry a large number of coins, there were obvious problems in safety and convenience. The exchange shop provided a convenient option, so the bill of Exchange began to be used and created an early form of bank. Cash deposited in one branch can be paid in the form of notes in another branch, which is a safe way to transfer funds from one merchant to another without time and distance restrictions. Nisheng Changyuan bank has won the reputation of “connecting the world with foreign exchange”, which means that silver and paper money can be circulated all over the country. Before the establishment of modern banking system, Rishengchang bank had a great impact on China’s economy in 108 years from its opening to its final bankruptcy. Due to the great influence of Rishengchang on the development of China’s banking industry, it has become a place of considerable interest to tourists in recent years.

The shop is within a compound with three courtyards. In the front of the compound, five rooms facing the street served as the gate of Rishengchang Former Bank. The board with the name of the shop hangs in central position above the five rooms. Passing through these rooms, you will come to the first courtyard in which four cashier’s offices are situated on either side of the passage that runs along the axis of the compound. In the second courtyard, the three south facing halls were used for the exchange business.

In the second courtyard there are also rooms which housed the staff who worked in the exchange shop, while the second storey served as store rooms. The third courtyard served as accommodation for the senior staff and due to its location away from the noise of the road also provided a resting place for important customers. For security, a net made from metal thread was fixed over the top of the whole compound. Small bells were hung on the net to sound a warning if intruders tried to enter the premises.

Lion Grove Garden, the Representative Garden of the Yuan Dynasty

Lion Grove Garden was built in 1342 during the Yuan Dynasty. Afterwards, it has changed hands and been renamed a number of times. Since Monk Tianru had once researched the Buddhism sutras at Lion Cliff on West Tianmu Mountain in Zhejiang Province with the guidance of Monk Zhongfeng, also there were many grotesque rocks in the garden resembling lions, the garden was first given the name Lion Grove. At that time, the garden was a popular center to host activities for literati and Buddhists. Many paintings and poems were inspired by it. Later, its name was changed to Bodhi Orthodox Temple and Sheng’en Temple successively.

Covering an area of about 2.7 acres, Lion Grove Garden is an ideal sightseeing site as it has richly ornamental pavilions and towers in different styles; each has its own history and story. True Delight Pavilion (Zhenquting) is said to be the most magnificent in the garden due to its royal style. Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty, who visited it six times, in 1765, inscribed its plaque.

The name of Standing-in-Snow Hall (Lixuetang) came from a Buddhist story about a pure-hearted Zen adherent standing in snow for a whole night to worship his master. Pavilion for Greeting the Plum Blossoms (Wenmeige) was a place where painters and poets indited. In addition to the plum trees around the pavilion, all the furnitures and utensils inside are decorated or carved with beautiful plum blossom designs. Furthermore, many rare tablets and steles, paintings and calligraphies are kept in Lion Grove Garden, including precious artwork ‘Panoramic View of Lion Grove Garden’ by Ni Yunlin, also called Ni Zan, and the ‘Twelve Scenic Spots in Lion Grove Garden’ by Xu Ben, both were famous painters from the Ming Dynasty.

However, as the representative garden of the Yuan Dynasty, the most noted and attractive scenery of the garden is the labyrinthine rockery, which was mostly made of the limestone from Taihu Lake in Wuxi City. Reputed as the ‘Kingdom of Rockery’, the rocks were piled up skillfully and ingeniously, and most of them look like lions in different postures and verves: playing, roaring, fighting, sleeping, or even dancing. It is said that looking north from Small Square Hall (Xiaofangting), one can see nine stone lions standing in a row and that is the Nine-Lion Peak. Due to the changes and ravages of the time and climate, the peak now only bears little resemblance to the lions. There are altogether 9 paths and 21 caverns cross among the steep peaks, sharp crags and narrow valleys made up by countless grotesque rocks. Walking through those numerous winding pathways and caverns of the anfractuous stone forest, one could easily lose one’s way. With the age-old pines and cypress trees, the whole landscapes represent scenes of real mountains and forests.

The whole structure of Lion Grove Garden shows a flavor of Zen Buddhism and is an apotheosis of the gardens’ constructions. A part of the Imperial Summer Resort of the Qing Dynasty in Chengde of Hebei Province was a mimic of this garden. The garden occupies a very important place in history, representing the diversity of cultural and architectural development in Suzhou over the years.

Du Fu, Du Shaoling, Zimei, One of the Greatest Poets in China

Du Fu was a famous poet in the Tang Dynasty, honored as “Poet Sage”.

Although Du Fu is best known for his poetry, his pursuits were not purely literary. In fact, one of Du Fu’s dearest hopes was to help China as a civil servant. However, this dream was never realized. In fact, he lived during a time of great unrest of China. Du Fu’s life was marked by the An Lushan Rebellion, which lasted from 755 to 763. The An Lushan Rebellion is also known as the Tianbao Rebellion and the An Shi Rebellion.

He gained little distinction in the official examinations, but remained a minor civil servant who was then uprooted by the An Lu-shan rebellion that destroyed the first Tang dynasty.

He was usually poor, and occasionally close to starvation. The major turning points in his life were his meeting and friendship with Li Po (701-62), and the civil war, which opened his eyes to the sufferings of the common people.

Two major themes in Du Fu’s poetry are morality and history. For this reason, the works are not only of literary interest; philosophers and historians alike have found useful information and ideas in his works. Du Fu wrote poems on military tactics and the goings-on within the government. He even wrote poems to the emperor which included words of advice. One of his most famous works on moral engagement is also one of his earliest works. Titled “The Song of the Wagons,” this poetic work is about a soldier struggling with the suffering that he had to endure in order to fulfill his duties.

The whole life of Du Fu witnessed the Tang Dynasty from prosperity to decline. During this time, Du Fu led a largely itinerant life unsettled by wars, and received a pure and profound understanding of social phenomena. Du Fu’s compassion, for the state and for the age, was part of his most direct feelings in his poems. The over 1,450 poems, that are still circulated now, with remarkable accomplishments in thoughts and arts, have far reaching effects on the development of Chinese literature, and his poems have been dubbed the “Poet-History”. He is identified as the man of “Complete Symphony” who served as a link between the past and now, the greatest poet of “realism”.

Because of both the volume and influence of his writing, Du Fu has been hailed among Western readers as the Eastern Virgil, Ovid, or Shakespeare. Since his death, approximately fifteen hundred of his poems have survived and been handed down through the generations. Furthermore, not only have his poems been enjoyed in translation by Western readers, but they have also been enjoyed by other Asian nations, particularly Japan.

Li Bai, Li Bo, Taibai, Qinglian Jushi, One of the Greatest Poets in China

Libai was a Chinese poet. He was part of the group of Chinese scholars called the “Eight Immortals of the Wine Cup” in a poem by fellow poet Du Fu. Li Bai is often regarded, along with Du Fu, as one of the two greatest poets in China’s literary history. Approximately 1,100 of his poems remain today.

Li Bai is best known for the extravagant imagination and striking Taoist imagery in his poetry, as well as for his great love for liquor. Like Du Fu, he spent much of his life travelling, although in his case it was because his wealth allowed him to, rather than because his poverty forced him. He is said, famously but untruly, to have drowned in the Yangtze River, having fallen from his boat while drunkenly trying to embrace the reflection of the moon.

Over a thousand poems are attributed to him, but the authenticity of many of these is uncertain. He is best known for his yuefu poems and “Jinti Shi” poems, which are intense and often fantastic. He is often associated with Taoism: there is a strong element of this in his works, both in the sentiments they express and in their spontaneous tone.

Li Bai was a romantic in his view of life and in his verse. One of the most famous wine drinkers in China’s long tradition of imbibers, Li Bai frequently celebrated the joy of drinking. He also wrote of friendship, solitude, the passage of time, and the joys of nature with brilliance and great freshness of imagination. Li Bai superficially was famous for his poem, but the deeper thing behind his poem was his character of pursuing freedom and harmony with nature as well as his identity of Taoist. Li Bai liked alcohol and swords martial arts. So traditionally, rather than his splendid poem, the most classic impression of Li Bai left to his fans and poem lovers was that his free and drunk visit to mountains, waters and unexplored regions of ancient China with a sword.

At the early time, Li Bai was ambitious and wanted to have a career in social contribution. Li Bai was quite talented but he was reluctant to attend the imperial examination. On the contrary, he hoped someone could recommend him to be an official, so he created a classically famous prose named Yu Han Jin Zhou Shu, or a letter to Mr, Han, whose name was Han Chaozong, the governor of Jingzhou Region, roughly administrated today’s Hubei and part of Hunan provinces. He wanted to recommend himself via this letter; however, he was not responded at all. In 742, he was recommended to Emperor Xuanzong by a famous Taoist, who was also Li Bai’s friend and a welcomed figure of Emperor Xuanzong. From then on, Li Bai stepped into the official circle. This was commonly considered to be a good thing, but due to his unique characters and habit, this was also the beginning of his official life.

Teahouse Culture in China, History of Tea Culture

As is known to all, China is one of the oldest countries in the world. Through the long river of the history, a lot of majestic traditional culture has been passed on, and the tea culture is among that.


The teahouse culture has gone through a complicated process of development. The teahouse first appeared during Tang dynasty. At that time, people mainly go there to exchange their views about poem. But soon on, as the spread of the teahouses, more ordinary people formed the habit of going to the teahouse. Then the teahouses was developed largely in Song Dynasty. By Qing Dynasty, there has been several kinds of teahouses aiming at customers from different class of society. For instance, some special teahouses were for people to play Chinese chess, and some teahouses became popular among businessmen. Also, some teahouses were especially for scholars, which could be much more quiet. Besides serving tea, the teahouses also served snacks, and some teahouses provided musical performances.

Beijing Teahouses

There is a great variety of teahouses in Beijing, including Big Teahouse, Qing Teahouse, Storytelling Teahouse and Wild Teahouse. In the ancient times in Beijing, there were a number of storytelling teahouses, where listening to the storytelling is the main purpose. The famed teahouses in Beijing are arranged and decorated fastidiously, creating the atmosphere for listening to storytelling.

In Qing teahouses of Beijing, pergolas are built outside the gate, where customers can chat and enjoy tea in every season except winter. Qing teahouses are deeply fond of by the old. In addition, in Beijing, there are also Chess Teahouses suitable for playing chess.

Hangzhou Teahouses

The teahouse culture in Hangzhou originated from the Southern Song Dynasty. Though there are not so many teahouses in Hangzhou as that of Sichuan, the culture atmosphere of teahouses in Hangzhou is full-bodied. Hangzhou teahouses are particular about culture, environment, internationalization and marketization. People in Hangzhou mainly drink West Lake Longjing Tea. According to the present condition, Hangzhou is universally acknowledged as the city managing teahouses best. Every year, during the National Tea Expo Fair and The West Lake International Tea Party held in Hangzhou, participants from everywhere speak highly of Hangzhou teahouses.

According to statistics, there are more than 700 teahouses in Hangzhou at present. Some boast tea ceremony, such as Tai Chi Teahouse; some feature tea cakes and relaxation, such as Qingteng Teahouse; some boast ecological environment; some integrate aesthetic enjoyment and tea-tasting, such as Ziyige Teahouse and Heji Teahouse.

Tianjin Teahouses

The teahouses of Tianjin are just like the teahouse of Beijing, containing tea, snacks, singing opera arias (without makeup and acting) and storytelling. However, its culture atmosphere is not outstanding. In China, the famous cross talk, which is deeply loved by many Chinese people, was originated from teahouses of Tianjin. These years, listening to a cross talk in a teahouse of Tianjin has become a fashion and unmissable experience. Audiences burst their sides with laughter at the cross talk. A number of audiences from other areas flock to Tianjin to listening to teahouse cross talk, spending a day of relaxation in peals of laughter.

Guangdong Teahouses

The teahouses of Guangdong feature magnificent appearance and they are decorated gorgeously, with rich cultural atmosphere. There are thousands of teahouses in Guangzhou, including professional teahouses and hotel teahouses. Guangdong teahouses are also served as the restaurants for having meals. There are over 60 varieties of delicate refreshments. In Guangzhou, people having a date, holding family reunion parties and having business negotiations are all usually held in teahouses.

Chengdu Teahouses

People of Sichuan Province have been keeping the habit of drinking tea. Drinking tea in teahouses is the typical tea activity of Sichuan. In Chengdu, teahouses and tearooms of different sizes spread all over cities. Some are decorated with calligraphy, painting, flowers and miniascape, creating a beautiful and quiet environment.

Chinese Furniture, the Development History of Chinese Furniture

Chinese furniture is one of those rare categories of art that appeal across generations and cultures. The furniture also follows the footsteps of times to develop and innovate continuously. It is an important foundation for the establishment of work and living space. By now, there are various categories with different material and applications.

During Xia , Shang and Western Zhou Dynasties

Xia and Shang dynasties was the original period of ancient furniture of China, with primitive and crude modelling and emblazonry. During this period, there were bronze furniture (such as Bronze chopping block), stone furniture(such as stone chopping block) and lacquer furniture (such as lacquer wood tabletop).


The lacquer wood was decorated with clamshell, which created a blueprint for mother-of-pearl inlay furniture.

Because there was a strong concept of ghosts and gods in people’s ideology at that time, the decoration patterns of Shang furniture tended to have a sense of solemnity, majesty and ferocity.

In the bronze ware, the decorative pot door (the four foot in plate shape, two symmetrical features between the front and back feet) has been in the history of Chinese furniture for thousands of years.

During Spring and Autumn Period

During the spring and autumn period, furniture of Chu style was the typical representative and the main source of lacquer wood furniture system in China. There are various categories of Chu furniture: all kinds of chopping block, exquisite lacquer case and table, distinctive small seat screen, the oldest bed.


Painted wooden bed is the earliest bedding in our country.

Chu small seat screen marks the beginning of Chinese furniture having pure ornamental value.

The carving technique is widely used in the decoration of furniture, such as means of engraved and embossed. It was the precedent of the furniture carving.

Pingji(a kind of arm rest) in the “H” shape marked the development of industrial art from the heavy bronze to the light lacquer.

The process of bronze casting developed greatly, and the method of “lost wax” appeared.

During Qin and Han Dynasties

During the Han dynasty, Chinese feudal society entering its first golden age, the furniture technology of Han developed greatly. The outstanding decoration of Han lacquer wood furniture made it shining and exquisite. Besides, there are all kinds of jade furniture, bamboo furniture and ceramic furniture. And a complete set of furniture on the ground appeared, which could be regarded as the representative period of short furniture in China.



In the Han dynasty, there was a new type of small seat, which was the originator of all the seats.

Ji (the originator of table): There are more varieties, such as activity Ji, multilayer Ji, curled ear Ji, and even the embryonic form of table.

Couch screen: It is a new type of combination of screen and couch, which marked the birth of newly-developing furniture of Han dynasty.

Hutch and ark: It is a new furniture that appeared in Han dynasty, different from traditional box, which was used for storing expensive articles.

Dressing table: The earliest mirror image appeared in the mural of Han dynasty. A rectangular plate was set on the circular pedestal, and the round plate was on its top.

During Three Kingdoms and Jin Dynasties

Two types of furniture series appeared: tall and type. This period was an important transitional period in the history of ancient Chinese furniture between Han dynasties and Sui and Tang dynasties. Bed of Hu minority was introduced from ethnic minority areas and merged with furniture of central plain, which made furniture higher in some parts. Furniture such as chairs, bench come out and furniture with sitting and lying style was also gradually higher. But overall, short furniture is still dominant.


The furniture developed from short type to tall type.

It promoted the combination of the tall furniture and the original short one of central plains. For example, the bed was in gradually heighten, with bed top and mosquito net, suitable to sit at bedside.

Pingji(凭几): It is a kind of furniture used for people to lean on. The special Pingji for protecting waist with three legs appeared.

Chair & Stool: The earliest chair & stool image appeared on murals.

During Sui and Tang Dynasties

The Tang dynasty was the heyday of China’s feudal society. Furniture making entered a new historical stage on the basis of inheriting the past and attracting foreign culture and art. It pursued the fresh and free style in the production process and decorative arts. Thus the furniture style in the Tang dynasty got rid of the unadorned features of those in the Shang, Zhou, Han and Six Dynastyies, and replaced them with gorgeous and dignified style.


Tall and short furniture coexisted at the same time.

The kind of table gradually increased and was widely used in all aspects of life.

Rocking Chair evolved from Hu bed and gradually appeared in the secular society.

Drum-shaped Stool: Bodhisattva seat appeared in the Wei, Jin, Northern and Southern Dynasties, which was more exquisite and popular in the Tang dynasty, with more forms.

During the Five Dynasties

On the basis of inheriting the furniture style of the Tang dynasty, the furniture style of the Five dynasties developed continuously. With the coexistence of tall and short furnitures, it was a special transition period that popularized to tall furniture. The functional difference of furniture was increasingly obvious. The gorgeous and dignified style of Tang furniture was changed and it tended to be simple.


The tall furniture style such as table, chair, stool matured gradually.

Screen changed from small screen to large.

Furnishings changed from an infinitive pattern into a fairly stable furnishing pattern.

During Song Dynasty

During Song dynasty, tall furniture had popularized to common family, such as tall bed, tall end table, towel rack, etc. At the same time, a lot of new products appeared such armchair, drawer, etc. Furniture of the Song dynasty was concise and neat, graceful and elegant, featuring with the simple style and no overelaborated adornment. While it also lacked grandeur.


Table and Chair: It laid a foundation for further development of frame furniture in Ming and Qing dynasties. Armchair named after official rank appeared.

Screen: Every family must have screen, so people more emphasized its position. Aesthetic meaning was greater than practical value.

During Yuan Dynasty

The Yuan dynasty was a feudal regime established by the Mongolian nationality in China. As the Mongolian nationality advocated force and pursued luxury, it was reflected in the furniture modeling, which was massive in shape, heavy and magnificent in decoration. The size of bed was big and the seat was in the shape of equinus.


Bed became large due to the body size of Mongolian.

The table basically inherited the shape of that in the Song dynasties, but high table became more and desk drawer appeared.

During Ming Dynasty

Ming dynasty was the glorious period on the development of Chinese classic furniture. Chinese ancient furniture experienced the development of thousands of years and reach an unprecedented level in Ming dynasty. The hardwood furniture was highly praised and appreciated. It paid much attention to choose material that needed to be hard wood with high intensity, fine color and lustre, decorated with wax to show its natural texture and color. From now on, Chinese traditional furniture entered an unprecedented new era represented with “hardwood furniture”.

The characteristic on modelling furniture was to pay attention to beauty of lines especially. Carving techniques were mainly relief, openwork carving, circular engravure, etc. The way of carving was exquisite with fluent line, vivid and lively. The place of carving was the backboard of furniture, tooth board, enclosure, etc., only doing carving in small area.


Bed: More kinds of bed appeared, including couch, canopy bed, arhat bed, etc.

Chair: It began to use hardwood manufacturing, with fine quality and wide varieties, such as official hat chair.

Screen: The screens are more elaborate. The styles are six, eight and twelve screens, in particular, the famous “Slanted apron(披水牙子)”.

During Qing Dynasty

The furniture craft of Qing dynasty was exquisite and reached the peak of feudalism. In the process of inheriting the traditional furniture making technology, it also absorbed the foreign culture and formed the distinct style of the times. As a result of economic prosperity, it formed the styles of different area such as Guangdong style, Suzhou style , Beijing style , etc. Due to Qing dynasty was closer to our modern society, some of the object was left and it has great influence to us.


Back-rest chair: It had great development on the basis of that in Ming dynasty.

rectangular spirals was the most representative decorative patterns.

Qing style armchair had greater development than Ming style armchair. One kind was throne, which was the supreme symbol of imperial power.