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Auspicious and Propitious

July 2nd

rain 26 °C

A day on our own to explore Xian in the pouring rain. As we were packing John said, "What do you want that for?" as I put in my umbrella, guess who now has one of his own!!!!
Xian was traditionally the place where the Emperors of the various dynasties ruled China, it has a long heritage of which the people are very proud. Yesterday we viewed the city walls while today we explored the Bell Tower and the Drum Tower which stand at the centre of the walls and which traditionally marked out the peoples' day. In the morning the bell from the Bell Tower would ring to instruct the men at the city gates it was time for the gates to be opened. The drum from the Drum Tower would signal various times throughout the day and would be beaten to tell the men at the gate it was time for them to be shut. Even with the mist from the rain you can just make out the four gates in the city wall. Depending on the season and weather a different drum was beaten, there were 24 in all plus the 4 big ones for the time of day. We conjectured that the seasonal drums would sound a different timbre, they had beautiful names like 'the grain is in the pod'.
The structures have been beautifully restored and the intricate designs and colorful paintwork all carry significant import. Some of the symbols and stories reminded me of indigenous art and symbols. The designs all had detailed explanations of their meaning all of which included the terms 'auspicious' and 'propitious'.
Whilst at the Drum Tower we managed to see a performance by six musicians in traditional dress playing Chinese instruments with the drum as the focus, very auspicious or was it propitious timing.
We wandered the streets dodging umbrellas, puddles and very slippery surfaces and saw some 'on trend' Chinese wearing these very cute little plastic boots which would be put on over the shoes, looked way better than our old galoshes but I doubt they would come in a size large enough for me.

The weather was a bit like Queensland "beautiful one day perfect????the next"

Can you spot the difference?

The Bell Tower

The Drum Tower...john found this more interesting hence more photos.

My secretary hard at work (a Chinese sweat shop).

Posted by Seniorcitizens 06:05 Archived in China

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