Moon Gazing, Mooncake Grazing
Cooks prepare mooncakes at Cantonese institution Luk Yu Tea House in Hong Kong on Aug. 28, 2014.
Mooncakes are gifted during the celebration of the Mid-Autumn Festival on the 15th day of the eighth month of the Lunar calendar, which lands on Sept. 8 this year.
Traditionally celebrated by the Chinese and Vietnamese as a harvest festival, families gather over a meal to share mooncakes and watch the full moon, a symbol of completeness and unity.
While mooncake styles vary from region to region, they are typically made of a sweet bean paste, such as lotus seed, surrounded by a thin crust, and some may include salted duck egg yolks in the filling. They are shaped in a wooden mold before being baked in an oven.
Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg
© 2014 Bloomberg Finance LP
冰淇淋 | bīng qí lín | ice cream
冰淇淋口味 | bīng qí lín kǒu wèi | Ice Cream Flavours
巧克力 | qiǎo kè lì | chocolate
香草 | xiāng cǎo | vanilla
草莓 | cǎo méi | strawberry
That Time When Wu Zetian’s Secret Police Came Under Investigation, Too
So back in the Tang dynasty, Wu Zetian was real good at ousting peeps who talked smack ‘bout her behind her back. She had a bunch of spies, or a kind of secret police who would rat them out so she could stay in power. Apparently, this secret police also extended to the peeps—anyone could say someone was plottin’ a rebellion, and she would investigate.
With this system, errybody started fuckin’ shiz up ‘cause errrybody got some personal vendetta ‘gainst errybody else. So some guy accused this secret police member called Zhou of plotting a rebellion. Wu Zetian assigned this dude called Lai to investigate, his case, and since Lai was an asshole, he invited Zhou to dinner.
So sneaky bastard Lai asked Zhou this during dinner: “Hey, dude, I needa find a way to make this guy confess, ‘cause he totally refuses to, no matter what I do.”
"That’s easy," Zhou said. "Why not just get a boiling vat and make him jump in? He will surely fess up."
Lai asked his servants to prepare what Zhou dsecribed and brought to him. Then he said, “Hey, dude, I’m supposed to investigate your case, so jump in or tell me what you were plotting.”
Zhou flipped his shit and confessed. Although he was totes supposed to be executed, he was exiled to the south. Oh and on his way, someone assassinated him ‘cause he had wronged too many people. Yup.
5 days ago · 13 notes
In Tang China, Lingnan Was The Shittiest Place To Be Exiled At
So errybody knows that officials sometimes get exiled ‘cause they were falsely accused by fellow officials who were assholes, or maybe they fell out of the emperor’s favour, stuff like that. But you could also get exiled if
- if you were a Chinese man who married a foreigner (Indian/Persian)
- stole crossbows and weapons
- submitted accusations under a pseudonym.
And sometimes, you were sentenced to hard labour, which really sucked.
But the shittiest of places to get exiled at was Lingnan, and it was so far south and included Hainan Island and the north of Vietnam. It sucked because
- the natives who were there were pissed that the Chinese had, conquered them, and so attacked the people who migrated there,
- it was freakin’ hot and prone to typhoons,
- there were venomous snakes, poisonous plants that could kill people who consumed them,
- the exiles couldn’t stomach the food there,
- there were toxic mists that caused men to get sick and die,
- and there were also mosquitoes that carried malaria,
so it wasn’t exactly a hot vacation spot.
Anyway, this official was so freaked out about that he would be exiled in Lingnan that he couldn’t even look at it on a map. He didn’t even wanna hear the names of the cities in his place, and when a map of southern China was in his office, he didn’t look at it for weeks. When he finally mustered up the courage to look at the map, he saw that it was of a place called Yai in Hainan island. In 805, he was demoted, and yes, he was exiled at Yai. The poor dude died there after a while, of course.
1 week ago · 20 notes
Chinese Short Sword
- Medium: steel, jade, silver, cloisonne, turquoise, jasper
- Measurements: overall length 25 inches, blade length 19 1/2 inch
The sword has a straight double edged single fuller blade set onto a 1 9/10 inch wide, 1/5th inch thick round jade guard - white/green in color with silver panels at front and rear. The grip is smooth round jade, light green with darker green streaked accents fitted with a three inch long silver collar with a floral shaped border along the bottom, and a round pommel cap, both of which are both over 90% covered in attractive multi-colored wireless cloisonne enamel.
The collar is showing an extensive vinework in yellow, blue, green and brown radiating from a green, yellow and gray floral bloom. This also has additional floral designs on the edge and a light blue background. There are also similar vines around the side of the cap with a single blooming flower covering the bottom.
Similar decoration is present on the scabbard, with the addition of a number of green and red stone (possibly turquoise and jasper) accents, with a 2 7/8 inch long silver throat decorated with raised cloisonne accented Eastern dragons, including a large 3-dimensional horned dragon head consuming the sun (a reference to the ancient mythology of the cause of solar eclipses).
The latter doubles as the base for two suspension rings, 12 individual rings of white/green jade, between 5/8 to 3/4 inch long each, with 11 floral cloisonne and stone decorated silver bands between them. There’s a silver tip with additional raised dragon designs and wire outlined stone accents and finally a green jade endcap with a silver flower on the flared end.
"In spring 1852, in one of the periodic nationwide selections for imperial consorts, a sixteen-year-old girl caught the eye of the emperor and was chosen as a concubine. A Chinese emperor was entitled to one empress and as many concubines as he pleased. "
—from EMPRESS DOWAGER CIXI: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China by Jung Chang
In 1852, at age sixteen, Cixi was chosen as one of Emperor Xianfeng’s numerous concubines. When he died in 1861, their five-year-old son succeeded to the throne. Cixi at once launched a coup against her son’s regents and placed herself as the true source of power—governing through a silk screen that separated her from her male officials. Drawing on newly available sources, Jung Chang comprehensively overturns Cixi’s reputation as a conservative despot. Cixi’s extraordinary reign saw the birth of modern China. Under her, the ancient country attained industries, railways, electricity, and a military with up-to-date weaponry. She abolished foot-binding, inaugurated women’s liberation, and embarked on a path to introduce voting rights. Packed with drama, this groundbreaking biography powerfully reforms our view of a crucial period in China’s—and the world’s—history. Read an excerpt here: http://ow.ly/Bj4St
OMG I really want to read this book.
The Tangut dharani pillars, two stone pillars with the entire text of the dhāraṇī-sutra carved on them. More interestingly, it is entirely in the Tangut script. They were carved in 1502, during the Ming Dynasty, and are the latest known examples of the Tangut script.
1 week ago · 50 notes