WPC: The Sign Says (Part 2)

Signs– The Old and The New

The Old:

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A sign posted on the top of the  Summer Palace gate in Beijing described how glorious the palace was. It was written by one of the emperors of the Qing Dynsty (1644 to 1912).  Three “imperial” colors were used for the gate; blue represented the sky, which symbolized the emperor’s power, red represented fire, it could scare evils, and yellow (gold) could only be used by the emperor.

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Traditionally, when having a new home built, one would ask a scholar, dignity, or an elderly person in the family to give a name. His calligraphy, then, would be carefully framed (sometimes carved on a wood plate) and placed right below the ceiling of the formal living room. The room in the Yuyan Garden (1559) in Shanghai, is a fine example.

The New:

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Above is a prestigious tea house in Beijing.

The red sign on top of the entrance is the name of the tea shop. The sign on the right side of the door (in black plaque with gold characters) says: In a chilly winter night, guests may come to enjoy tea as they would with wine; the left says: When warm spring arrives, guests are welcome to come in and enjoy wine as well as tea.  The sign indicates that tea is served throughout the year.

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A hand-pulled noodle restaurant in Xi’an. These signs describe different kinds of pulled noodles they serve. See the cook demonstrating his skills.

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This local shop in Guilin cleverly posted a famous old-time story on top of the building to promote their pastries. The story was about a son who took much of effort to make a flat cake recipe for his mother to please her when she was ill.

More fun sign posts, click here. Have a great week!

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