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)
Russian Lit. Fest held in Colombo (Pics)
The Russian House in Colombo hosted the much anticipated annual Literature festival yesterday (Nov. 22), amid the excitement of Literary enthusiasts in the island.
Russian Literary greats Rasul Gamzatov, Leo Tolstoy and Ivan Turgenev were commemorated at the event.
A unique photo exhibition out front showcased the estates where the literary greats had lived and created their iconic pieces – Tolstoy’s Yasnaya Polyana and Turgenev’s Spasskoye-Lutovinovo. Photo archives were provided by the Director of the Russian House in Colombo, Madam Maria Popova, and the writer for the Russky Mir magazine, Irina Ivina.
Max Dimov, Deputy Chief Editor of “Moscow Media”, addressed the gathering with a video message.
During his visit to the Russian House in July, he had made friends among the founders of the Russian Literary Club, famous philologists, writers and translators Ranjana Senasinghe and Felix Fernando.
For the first time ever, the festival program also showcased the works of contemporary Russian authors in Sinhala.
Felix Fernando presented his translation of an international bestseller book by Evgeny Vodolazkin, ‘the most important living Russian writer’ according to the New Yorker. His novel “Laurus” was dubbed as ‘a new statesman book of the year 2016’. On top of that, Fernando also translated a touching New Year short story “I Won’t Tell!” by an extremely popular Russian author, producer, screenwriter and philanthropist Alexander Tsypkin.
Both authors addressed the audience with a video greeting, deeply touched by the interest in their works and happily responded to the invitation to visit Sri Lanka and personally meet the translator.
(Pics : FB of Russian House in Colombo)
SL President attends Maldivian President’s inauguration ceremony
The inauguration ceremony of the new President of Maldives – Dr. Mohamed Muizzu was held in Malé, Maldives today (17).
Attending the event, Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe congratulated Dr. Muizzu.
Kamal & Kumara Thirimadura shine at Presidential Cinema Awards
The 20th Presidential Cinema Awards ceremony was held yesterday (November 14), at the Nelum Pokuna Mahinda Rajapaksa Theatre, Colombo.
President Ranil Wickremesinghe attended as Chief Guest while Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena and Transport, Highways and Mass Media Minister – Dr. Bandula Gunawardhana were Guests of Honour.
The event, which was not held since 2019 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, handed over 53 awards after reviewing 42 films screened in 2019 and 2020.
The Best Actor awards in 2019 and 2020 went to Kamal Addaraarachchi (Ginnen Upan Seethala) and Kumara Thirimadura (The Newspaper) respectively.
The Best Actress awards in 2019 and 2020 went to Samadhi Laksiri (Dekala Purudu Kenek) and Nita Fernando (Panshu) respectively.
One of the most beloved and iconic musicians in the country Kalasoori Nanda Malini received a special award from the President at the awards ceremony.
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