WPC: The Sign Says (Part 2)

Signs– The Old and The New

The Old:


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.


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:


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.


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


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!

37 thoughts on “WPC: The Sign Says (Part 2)

  1. Absolutely fascinating Amy – both t he gorgeous pics and places, and the story and history behind them. you are so clever to ferret out these lovely placers and find their stories…


  2. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: The Sign Says (Sign Revisited) | What's (in) the picture?

    • I agree that artistic calligraphy made the difference. The group I traveled were all focusing on buildings, monuments… and wondered why I spent time on read and admire sign and writings.


  3. Great post Amy. I wish I could read some Chinese I think I would get even more out of my time here. I can recognise a few characters, which is pretty good I guess considering I work in an English environment and never had a lesson 😉


          • I know that is why no one understands me 😉
            My husband laughs because I roll my r’s —all those French classes growing up. Oh well I have managed and in Shanghai there are enough people to understand some English I can get by. If work wasn’t so busy then I would take classes.


    • Thank you for asking the story, Ad! I, too, am curious about it. Since the one I posted is a store promotion, I’m not sure the accuracy. As soon as I find out more information, you will be the first one to know 🙂


  4. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: The Sign Says | Erin O'Leary Photography

  5. Stunning shots of these lovely signs Amy and thanks for taking the time to tell what they are all about. I loved it. Great entry for the challenge hon. 🙂 *big hugs*


  6. So the yellow (gold) symbolises the power (privillege) as well? 😉 Interesting post, Amy 🙂 I hope you have recovered from the jet lag till now. Wish you a lovely weekend!


    • Paula Dear, Thank you so much for asking. I recovered it a week later, 12 hour difference was harder then 6 hours (back from Europe) 😉 Are you planning for an upcoming trip?


      • Yes 🙂 In mid July 11 days – Vicenza, then somewhere midway between Como and Lugano, then Verona :). Thank you for asking me about holidays Amy 🙂 xx


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