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The largest Nine-dragon wall in the Land of the Dragon (Pics)

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A Nine-dragon wall or a Nine-dragon screen is a type of screen wall originating from Han Chinese traditional architecture, which mainly depicts nine different Chinese dragons. 

These impressive structures are typically found in imperial Chinese palaces and gardens. It is said that they are usually erected not only for blocking the line of sight to protect privacy, but also to show auspicious blessings.

There are 04 Nine-dragon walls in mainland China. Two are in Beijing, at the Forbidden city and Beihai park. The other two are in Pingyao and Datong, both located in Shanxi Province. Two more are located in Hong Kong with several more outside China.

The Datong Nine-dragon screen, located in Heyang Street of the Datong Ancient City in Shanxi Province, is the oldest and the biggest Nine-dragon walls found in mainland China. It is also 250 years older and three times bigger than the Nine-dragon wall found in Beihai Park, Beijing.

It is built in front of the palace built in the 14th century for prince Zhu Gui, the 13th son of Zhu Yuanzhang – the first emperor of the Ming Dynasty.

The wall is 45.5 metres long, 08 meters high and 2 meters thick and made out of 426 multicoloured glazed tiles. The wall itself comprises of 03 sections, the top, the wall body and the wall seat. 

The nine dragons in the wall body are depicted in pairs chasing flaming pearls with a full frontal dragon at the centre. The pearl, essentially called as the ‘pearl of wisdom’, is associated with spiritual energy, wisdom, prosperity, power, immortality, thunder, or the moon. The dragons are depicted among natural elements such as turbulent waves, high mountains and rolling clouds.  The dragons themselves, are all four clawed dragons, as the five clawed dragon was strictly reserved for the emperor only.

The seat of the wall was compounded with 75 pieces of relieves made up of colored glaze brick, depicting animals smaller dragons as well as cattle, horse, sheep, dog, deer, rabbit etc.

The rectangular pool in front of the wall is to reflect the dragons in the wall, with the rippling water giving them a more lifelike effect.

(Pics – Shanika Jayasekara)

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‘Buddham Sharanam Gacchami’: Indian HC organizes special exhibition (Pics)

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High Commission of India, Colombo has organized a Special Exhibition titled ‘Buddham Sharanam Gacchami’ showcasing works on the life of Lord Buddha by iconic masters of modern Indian art, as a part of the Buddha Rashmi National Vesak Festival at Seemamalakaya, Gangaramaya Temple in Colombo.

The Exhibition opened as the Buddha Rashmi Zone jointly organised by the President’s Secretariat, Prime Minister’s Office and Gangaramaya Temple was inaugurated by President of Sri Lanka, H.E. Ranil Wickremesinghe. The inauguration event was attended by High Commissioner H.E. Santosh Jha, senior Ministers and other dignitaries on 23 May 2024.

A highlight of the exhibition is a digital immersive experience captivating visitors into an exploration of visual allure and spiritual essence of Buddhist art, embodying universal values of wisdom, compassion, and peace. The exhibition was curated by the National Gallery of Modern Art in New Delhi, India, with its first showing in New Delhi on the occasion of Vesak in May 2023.

The Exhibition is open for public viewing from 23 May 2024 7pm onwards until 26 May 2024.

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President Ranil conveys condolences at Iranian Embassy

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President Ranil Wickremesinghe paid a visit to the Iranian Embassy in Colombo this morning (22) to extend his condolences on the untimely tragic passing of the late Iranian President, Ebrahim Raisi.

Upon arrival at the Embassy, President Wickremesinghe was warmly received by the Iranian Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Dr. Alireza Delkhosh, and the Embassy staff.

During his visit, the President engaged in brief conversation with the Iranian Ambassador and others present, conveying his heartfelt condolences on behalf of the Sri Lankan government and himself to the Iranian government and people for the loss of the Late President Ebrahim Raisi.

(President’s Media Division)

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‘Tea for Harmony’ in Colombo (Pics)

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A Chinese cultural event was held in Colombo yesterday (May 22), featuring cultural components from the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous region located in Southern China.

Titled ‘Tea for Harmony – Yaji Cultural Salon 2024’, the event showcased a catwalk featuring Guangxi ethnic wear , a Guangxi pictorial tour exhibition, traditional song and dance performances by China and Sri Lanka.

The event, which coincided with the International Tea Day, featured an intangible cultural heritage tea art experience as well as tea products from both countries.

The event was attended by a host of distinguished guests including Chinese ambassador to Sri Lanka – Mr. Qi Zhenhong and Madam Jin Qian, Speaker of Sri Lankan Parliament – Mr. Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena and Mr. Lai Fuqiang – Level-I Counsel of the Department of Culture and Tourism of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

Addressing the gathering, the Chinese ambassador – Mr. Qi Zhenhong said that tea has become a significant medium for people in China and around the world to connect and be friends.

He added, “The people of China and Sri Lanka share a long history of growing, making, tasting and drinking tea, fostering exchanges and mutual learning. Though tea is produced in different places, it derives from a common source. Tea has become a common part of lifestyle of the two peoples and an important link to connect and bring them closer. I hope that everyone here today will enjoy a delightful cup of tea, watch the performances, and enjoy the wonderful time. I believe that tea, as a medium today, will further promote cultural exchanges between the two countries and strengthen the friendship between the two peoples.”

(Pics : Shanika Jayasekara)

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