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Better on B l a c k M a g i c

Todays challenge on www.photochallenge.org/ was "Decorate"

 

This is an ornament my wife picke dup somewhere,and she has setup with a few others on a little table in our dining room, she has done a really nice job of setting it up

 

This is my 75th Day doing the Photochallenge, quite pleased with myself with making it thus far, its one of the many things I have to be thankful for today, I am fortunate to be in a position to follow up on this hobby of photography which I really enjoy, I wont bore you all with a long list of other things I am thankful for

 

For those who celebrate thanksgiving I hope you all had a lovely day, and for tose that don't celebrate it I also hope you had a lovely day

* Hoy aquí es feriado y hemos salido a pasear a mi parque favorito, que es todo un capricho, si porque así se llama : El parque del Capricho!

Y que lluvia nos cogió... todos se fueron corriendo, solo nosotros nos quedamos, hasta tuve tiempo de traerme unas cuantas hojitas de recuerdo ;)

 

Website ✔ Facebook ✔ Twitter ✔ Blog ✔

 

If you wish to use any of my images for any reason/purpose please contact me via chaulafanita@photographer.net or send me a flickr mail so I'll make them available for sale.

 

Maple leaves on the rock at Japanese garden in autumn.

I had great fun composing and executing shots of this spectacular display of ornamental gourds at the risk of some observers wondering if I might be out of my gourd!

 

As you may know, gourds are among the oldest cultivated plants in history and there are many wonderful things you can craft 'out of your gourd'! Not only do they make colorful table decorations, but once properly air-dried to cure, they may be crafted into birdhouses, musical instruments, lanterns, dippers, containers and much more.

 

This spectacular display of Cucurbita pepo (variety ovifera) was seen at the Curtis Orchard pumpkin patch in Champaign, Illinois. They grow 20 acres of pumpkins and 5000 apple trees.

 

Explore: 10/10/08 #107 (Hit at #351). Thanks for your wonderful support! I appreciate your generous comments, kind invites, and faves. A heap of thanks.

Just before dinner time, the decorations in our dinning room were done by our son, the centerpiece that includes those magnificent glass covered silver Churches, he brought those with the flowers from the city yesterday,

fortunately we have folding chairs to accommodate all our guests.

Just before Dinner my son had to do last minute preparations, his Centerpiece always is a hit with me,

Brought all of them Christmas day from NYC.

G'day everyone! Hyped up for this 'Summer' even though it's winter & absolutely freezing to the bone! But I'm getting over my cold! - Just like the picture, I'm going to keep the post minimal too.. - A new build from Felgo, it's the MELANO Condo - It comes with or without furniture, very stylish and modern to the core, which is suitable for this home I reckon. If you were to go over board with decoration it may lose it's characteristics, that's just a personal opinion. So the items I've used additionally for this room are:

 

Credits:

 

8f8 - 6. Bombastic Cookie Dessert

Forest - Place setting B

SAYO - Autumn Abode Gacha - Bundle of Billies

Apple Fall Stoneware Vessels

LADO Paint

TERACO Plant

TCHEKO Chair

TCHEKO table

NESMA Table

 

The song I have below, gives me that vibe of dining in this particular setting, very ultra Elastic, Brazilian mix - www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkevUPEpSxE

 

Make sure if you haven't done so, to check out my Facebook, follow me for

updates on my SL life, my life in general, projects, client work, behind the scenes,

giveaway's & much more! --> www.facebook.com/ZhaoiIntaglio

 

To visit my office, click here: maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Supreme/35/130/22

Loving the mini Strobe Light!

For this picture i shoot about 80 shots, lit with flashlight in dark room from different angles and distances. Most of these shots used in processing. All shots loaded as layers and best lighted parts of them combined together with masks.

 

I wrote small post about light painting technique in blog: english / russian.

 

Prints: Artist website | RedBubble.com

 

Need my photos for commercial use? Please mail me:

chaoticmind75@gmail.com

All the links to the events and shops in my post ☺☺☺

 

bambifoxdale.blogspot.co.il/2017/06/like-old-friend.html

 

Starting with my sponsors roughly left to right:

Boat: Chez Moi Bon Voyage Boat

Swing: Decor Junction & Shutter Field Swing Seats @ On9

Rocking Chairs Ser: What Next Palma Set

Dining Table with Chairs: Decor Junction & Shutter Field Amelia Patio Set - Rustic @ Tres Chic

Wine Bottles: [-BLUE SKY-] Toscana Dining

 

The rest:

Outside

Laundry Line: dust bunny . spring washline

Laundry Basket: dust bunny . spring laundry basket

Bicycle: Zerkalo Fall in Love - Bicycle

Fence: we're CLOSED rope fence

Grass: we're CLOSED grass field lush

Flowers: we're CLOSED white flowers

Boulders: we're CLOSED boulders light

Stringlights on Poles: we're CLOSED party lights

Stringlights on the Swing: floorplan. garden string light

Garlic Mustard: Heart - Wild Flowers - Garlic Mustard

Platesetting and Decoration on the Dining Table: dust bunny . autumns calling . plate setting

 

Inside

Stringlights: Half-Deer Cozy Stringlights

Kitchen table: Zenith Kitchen table - RARE

Kitchen Counter: ionic Vintage Kitchen counter

Dishes and Milk: Knick Knacks cena sotto le stelle

Kitchen Utilities: Zenith kitchen jar

Hanging Plant: Soy Super long Hanging Hedera

Lounger: Soy Reclining Lounger

Screen: dust bunny woodland dreams . carved wooden screen

Sofa: Fiasco - Tiffany Light Couch

House and Blinds: Vespertine - sea salt beach cabin @ Collabor88

 

The Pagodenburg was built between 1716 and 1719 by Joseph Effner to a commission from Elector Max Emanuel. Sited north of the main canal, it respects the original plan of the park. To the south of the little palace lies a garden parterre, and to the north a green where the "Mailspiel", a game similar to golf, was played. A contemporary account reports: »This Indian building is a place where the lords and ladies rest after the exertions of a round of "Mailspiel"… The lower floor houses a hall and two cabinets, and the panelling has been executed in Arab and Indian styles with all manner of Chinese figures and pagodas."

On the ground floor the colours blue and white predominate which, together with the exotic elements of the partly ornamental, partly figural ceiling painting and the Dutch tiles, allude to China and porcelain production.

 

The upper floor accommodates very small but cleverly designed rooms. The Chinese Drawing Room with Chinese wallpaper and black-grounded lacquer painting looks exotic thanks to its colour scheme. The Chinese Cabinet , by contrast, has red-based lacquerwork. Despite its European Regency-style decoration, the Boudoir also has an exotic air on account of its bizarre shape. The rooms were furnished by Johann Anton Gumpp and Johann Adam Pichler. The Pagodenburg is a prime example of eighteenth-century chinoiserie which was very much in vogue at the time.

For his interiors, Joseph Effner designed not only the permanent fixtures but also the furniture. Generally speaking, he drew on the formal vocabulary of the French Regency style. However, in particular instances, he developed new ideas of his own. Thus, in the case of the rooms in the Pagodenburg, he introduced exotic elements into the furniture, creating unique decorative items, such as candlesticks with dragons' heads. Priceless individual pieces complete the exquisite furnishings, such as a games table (Paris, c. 1720/25) and two small Japanese lacquer cabinets remodelled as commodes (Paris, c. 1715/20).

(Bayerische Schlösserverwaltung)

 

Die Pagodenburg wurde als maison de plaisance unter Leitung von Joseph Effner 1716 bis 1719 der Überlieferung nach mit Verwendung eines Grundrissentwurfs von Max Emanuel erbaut. Bereits 1767 erfolgte eine Überarbeitung durch François Cuvilliés d. Ä. in der Art des Rokoko. Das doppelgeschossige Gebäude ist ein achteckiger Bau, der durch vier sehr kurze Flügel einen kreuzförmigen, nord-südlich ausgerichteten Grundriss hat.

 

Das Erdgeschoss besteht aus einem einzigen Raum, dem ganz in blau und weiß gehaltenen Salettl. Dessen Wände bedeckten nahezu vollständig Keramikkacheln im holländischen Stil. Die Decke ist mit orientalisch anmutendem Figuraldekor bemalt. Auch die Fliesen des Fußbodens greifen die Farboptik des Raums auf. Im Salettl befinden sich ein runder Tisch mit dem Wappen des Bauherrn, mehrere Kanapees sowie ein Kronleuchter - wie alle diese Ausstattungsgegenstände in Porzellanmanier blau-weiß gefasst.

 

Im Obergeschoss ist die Pagodenburg viergeteilt. Während ein Flügel dem Treppenaufgang vorbehalten ist, beherbergen die anderen drei einen Ruheraum, den Chinesischen Salon sowie das kleinere Chinesische Kabinett. Den beiden letztgenannten hat man, dem Zeitgeschmack der Chinoiserie entsprechend, ein fernöstliches Ambiente gegeben. Wände und Türen sind in schwarzem Lack gehalten, auf dem farbenfrohes exotisches Dekor aufgebracht ist. Die Kassettenfelder der Wandvertäfelung zeigen blühende Bäume in markanter Gold-Weiß-Optik. Eine chinesische Lackkommode vervollständigt die Ausstattung. Anders als bei den Tapeten der Badenburg handelt es sich im chinesischen Kabinett der Pagodenburg aber nicht um Originalstücke aus China, sondern Nachahmungen aus Europa.

 

2003 wurde eine umfassende Restaurierung der Pagodenburg abgeschlossen.

(Wikipedia)

Yuliya Bahr - Hochzeitsfotograf in Berlin und Europa

Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Modern Collection, Lisbon, Portugal

 

Material : Oil on canvas

Collection: Calouste Gubenkian Museum, Modern Collection

Inv. : 83P58

 

ABOUT THE WORK

  

Through the initiative of the journalist Norberto de Araújo, from the newspaper Diário de Lisboa, and that of the architect José Pacheco, editor of Contemporânea magazine, the decoration of the Brasileira café in Chiado, on the occasion of its remodelling in 1924-1925, was offered to the hands of the modernists Eduardo Viana, António Soares, Jorge Barradas, Stuart Carvalhais, Bernardo Marques, José Pacheco and José de Almada Negreiros.

 

Almada executed the first and the third decorative panels in the western wing: these Bathers and a Self-Portrait in a Group, with the artist sitting at one of the tables at the café. Though they were negatively received and harshly criticized by most of the art critics and by the frequenters of the Brasileira, the paintings transformed the café into the only place in the Portuguese capital where one could see modernist painting.

 

SAF

 

May 2010

 

SOURCE: gulbenkian.pt/cam/en/collection-item/as-banhistas-pintura...

 

BIOGRAPHY

 

José de Almada Negreiros first debuts as a caricaturist, in 1911. He participates in the I and II Exhibits of Portuguese Caricaturists, in 1912 and 1913. In 1913 he produces his first works in oil paint for the tailor house Alfaiataria Cunha, and holds his first solo exhibition at the International School of Lisbon. In March 1914 he publishes his first poem. In 1915, he collaborates in the first issue of the literary magazine Orpheu and illustrates the prospectus for the magazine Contemporânea.

 

That year also marked the arrival of Robert and Sonia Delaunay to Portugal, with whom Almada maintains close contact.

 

Searching, among the European avant-garde movements, a course for his artistic and literary individuality, worthy of the “Portuguese Fatherland of the Twentieth Century”, as he wrote in his Ultimatum Futurista às Gerações Portuguesas do Século XX [Futurist Ultimatum for the Portuguese Generations of the Twentieth Century] of 1917, Almada writes A Cena do Ódio [The Scene of Hate] (1915), Manifesto Anti-Dantas [Anti-Dantas Manifest] and Litoral [Coastline] (1916), A Engomadeira [The Ironing Lady] and K4 O Quadrado Azul [K4 The Blue Square] (1917). His second solo exhibition is held at Jose Pacheco’s Arts Gallery in September 1916, already at a distance from the earlier caricaturist exhibits.

 

The Futurist label which he assumes with Santa-Rita Pintor in 1917 – the year of the First Futurist Conference and Futurist Portugal – is provocatively adopted as a banner for modernity and for the fight against nostalgia.

 

The Lisbon representations of the Ballets Russes, in 1917 and 1918, affected the artist deeply; encouraging the creation of a series of ballets represented by amateurs and children, in particular by the young girls Lalá, Tareco, Tatão and Zeca, with whom he formed the “Club das Cinco Cores” [Five Colors Club].

 

The poetics of “Almadian” ingenuity, intimately related to this group, fully developed in Paris, where the artist lived between 1919 and 1920. Here, Almada somewhat isolated himself, pursuing his apprenticeship outside the sphere of academies and workshops, only tangentially contacting with the artistic vanguards.

 

Back in Lisbon, the artist held his third solo exhibition at the Theater São Carlos, presenting a series of drawings created in Paris. There he recites his poem-conference A Invenção do Dia Claro [The Invention of the Bright Day], a poetic manifest of ingenuity, published in 1921. During the 1920’s he published Pierrot e Arlequim [Pierrot and Arlequim] (1924) and began to write Nome de Guerra [Name of War] (1925); he also collaborated in several magazines, publishing works in Contemporânea, Athena, Presença, Diário de Lisboa, and Sempre Fixe.

 

He participated in the Exposição dos Cinco Independentes [Exhibit of the Five Independents] (1923) and in the I e II Autumn Exhibits (1925 and 1926). He painted Auto-Retrato num Grupo [Self-Portrait in a Group] e Banhistas [Bathers] for the café Brasileira (1925), and Nu Feminino [Female Nude] for the Bristol Club (1926), and was part of the “modern” artists who, led by José Pacheco, attempted, but failed, to enter the National Society of Fine Arts, in Lisbon. And, moreover, he discovers that “it is living which is impossible in Portugal” (Modernismo, 1926).

  

Thus Almada went to Madrid, between 1927 and 1932. There, he became actively involved in the artistic and literary scene, interacting and collaborating with many significant artists, architects and writers of Spanish Modernism. Back again in Lisbon, he proclaims the conference Direcção Única [Single Direction], defending unity between the individual and the collective, “these two equal, reciprocal, values which depend on each other and, when isolated, kill themselves with their own hands.” This relationship was, thus, difficult, but the I Oficial Exhibit of Modern Art in March 1935, an initiative of António Ferro, a personality who had been close to the generation that had sprung from Orpheu and was now director of the newly born National Propaganda Secretary, gave him hope. “Being an artist is the direct result of mankind and society; it is a legitimate place for certain individuals”, “the duty of public authorities is merely not to ignore, and to recognize certain values shown to them by humanity and society”, “it is with great respect that I see, for the first time in my country, public authorities alongside Portugal’s youngest art”.

 

With an already defined artistic “personality” and achieving an emotional (thanks to his marriage to the painter Sarah Affonso in March 1934) and financial stability (due to the public commissions he starts to receive), Almada followed alone through the path opened by his past comrades, heading for consecration. He is praised as a writer, from the publication of Nome de Guerra in 1938 on, inaugurating the collection of “Modern Portuguese Authors”, organized by João Gaspar Simões for Edições Europa.

 

As a painter he has been rewarded in 1942 (the Columbano Award), 1946 (the Domingos Sequeira Award), 1957 (Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation) and 1966 (by the newspaper Diário de Notícias).

 

He was the author of the fresco decorations for the Maritime Stations in Alcantara (1943 -1945) and Rocha Conde Óbidos (1946-1949), as well as the creator of portraits of Fernando Pessoa for the restaurant Irmãos Unidos (1954) and for the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (1964).

 

As an art theorist, he wrote Ver [Seeing] (1943), Mito – Alegoria – Símbolo [Myth – Allegory – Symbol] (1948), and A Chave Diz: Faltam Duas Tábuas e Meia no Todo da Obra de Nuno Gonçalves [The Key Says: Two and a Half Panels Are Lacking in the Whole of Nuno Gonçalves’ Work] (1950). These texts theorize the relentless pursuit of a canon, a foundation for universal creation, questions which Almada explored artistically in a series of four abstract oil paintings, exposed at the I Exhibit of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (1957) and later recapitulated in the wall panel Começar [Beginning] (1968-1969) for the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation’s head office.

 

Sara Afonso-Ferreira

 

SOURCE: gulbenkian.pt/cam/en/artist/jose-de-almada-negreiros-2/

   

The Mid-Autumn Festival is a harvest festival celebrated by ethnic Chinese and Vietnamese peoples. The festival is held on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese Han calendar and Vietnamese calendar (within 15 days of the autumnal equinox), on the night of the full moon between early September to early October of the Gregorian calendar.

 

Mainland China listed the festival as an "intangible cultural heritage" in 2006 and a public holiday in 2008. It is also a public holiday in Taiwan. Among the Vietnamese, it is considered the second-most important holiday tradition.

 

The Chinese have celebrated the harvest during the autumn full moon since the Shang Dynasty (c. 16th to 10th century BCE). Morris Berkowitz, who studied the Hakka people during the 1960s, theorizes that the harvest celebration originally began with worshiping Mountain Gods after the harvest was completed. The celebration as a festival only started to gain popularity during the early Tang Dynasty (618–907 CE). One legend explains that Emperor Xuanzong of Tang started to hold formal celebrations in his palace after having explored the Moon-Palace. The term mid-autumn (中秋) first appeared in Rites of Zhou, a written collection of rituals of the Western Zhou Dynasty (1046–771 BCE).

 

Empress Dowager Cixi (late 19th century) enjoyed celebrating Mid-Autumn Festival so much that she would spend the period between the thirteenth and seventeenth day of the eighth month staging elaborate rituals.

 

For the Vietnamese, in its most ancient form, the evening commemorated the dragon who brought rain for the crops. Celebrants would observe the moon to divine the future of the people and harvests. Eventually the celebration came to symbolize a reverence for fertility, with prayers given for bountiful harvests, increase in livestock, and human babies. Over time, the prayers for children evolved into a celebration of children. Confucian scholars continued the tradition of gazing at the moon, but to sip wine and improvise poetry and song. By the early twentieth century in Hanoi, the festival had begun to assume its identity as a children's festival.

 

An important part of the festival celebration is moon worship. The ancient Chinese believed in rejuvenation being associated with the moon and water, and connected this concept to the menses of women, calling it "monthly water". The Zhuang people, for example, have an ancient fable saying the sun and moon are a couple and the stars are their children, and when the moon is pregnant, it becomes round, and then becomes crescent after giving birth to a child. These beliefs made it popular among women to worship and give offerings to the moon on this evening. In some areas of China, there are still customs in which "men don't worship the moon and the women don't offer sacrifices to the kitchen gods."

 

Offerings are also made to a more well-known lunar deity, Chang'e, known as the Moon Goddess of Immortality. The myths associated with Chang'e explain the origin of moon worship during this day. One version of the story is as follows, as described in Lihui Yang's Handbook of Chinese Mythology:

 

In the ancient past, there was a hero named [Hou] Yi who was excellent at archery. His wife was Chang'e. One year, the ten suns rose in the sky together, causing great disaster to people. Yi shot down nine of the suns and left only one to provide light. An immortal admired Yi and sent him the elixir of immortality. Yi did not want to leave Chang'e and be immortal without her, so he let Chang'e keep the elixir. But Feng Meng, one of his apprentices, knew this secret. So, on the fifteenth of August in the lunar calendar, when Yi went hunting, Feng Meng broke into Yi's house and forced Chang'e to give the elixir to him. Chang'e refused to do so. Instead, she swallowed it and flew into the sky. Since she loved her husband very much and hoped to live nearby, she chose the moon for her residence. When Yi came back and learned what had happened, he felt so sad that he displayed the fruits and cakes Chang'e liked in the yard and gave sacrifices to his wife. People soon learned about these activities, and since they also were sympathetic to Chang'e they participated in these sacrifices with Yi.

 

Yang describes another version of the tale which provides a different reason for Chang'e ascending to the moon:

 

After the hero Houyi shot down nine of the ten suns, he was pronounced king by the thankful people. However, he soon became a conceited and tyrannical ruler. In order to live long without death, he asked for the elixir from Xiwangmu. But his wife, Chang'e, stole it on the fifteenth of August because she did not want the cruel king to live long and hurt more people. She took the magic potion to prevent her husband from becoming immortal. Houyi was so angry when discovered that Chang'e took the elixir, he shot at his wife as she flew toward the moon, though he missed. Chang'e fled to the moon and became the spirit of the moon. Houyi died soon because he was overcome with great anger. Thereafter, people offer a sacrifice to Chang'e on every lunar fifteenth of August to commemorate Chang'e's action.

  

Modern celebration

 

The festival was a time to enjoy the successful reaping of rice and wheat with food offerings made in honor of the moon. Today, it is still an occasion for outdoor reunions among friends and relatives to eat mooncakes and watch the moon, a symbol of harmony and unity. The festival is celebrated with many cultural or regional customs, among them:

 

Burning incense in reverence to deities including Chang'e.

Performance of dragon and lion dances, which is mainly practiced in southern China and Vietnam.

  

Imperial dishes served on this occasion included nine-jointed lotus roots which symbolize peace, and watermelons cut in the shape of lotus petals which symbolize reunion. Teacups were placed on stone tables in the garden, where the family would pour tea and chat, waiting for the moment when the full moon's reflection appeared in the center of their cups. Owing to the timing of the plant's blossoms, cassia wine is the traditional choice for the "reunion wine" drunk on the occasion. Also, people will celebrate by eating cassia cakes and candy.

 

Food offerings made to deities are placed on an altar set up in the courtyard, including apples, pears, peaches, grapes, pomegranates, melons, oranges, and pomelos. One of the first decorations purchased for the celebration table is a clay statue of the Jade Rabbit. In Chinese folklore, the Jade Rabbit was an animal that lived on the moon and accompanied Chang'e. Offerings of yellow beans and cockscomb flowers were made to the Jade Rabbit.

 

In Vietnam, cakes and fruits are not only consumed, but elaborately prepared as food displays. For example, glutinous rice flour and rice paste are molded into familiar animals. Pomelo sections can be fashioned into unicorns, rabbits, or dogs. Villagers of Xuân La, just south of Hanoi, produce tò he, figurines made from rice paste and colored with natural food dyes. Into the early decades of the twentieth century of Vietnam, daughters of wealthy families would prepare elaborate centerpieces filled with treats for their younger siblings. Well-dressed visitors could visit to observe the daughter's handiwork as an indication of her capabilities as a wife in the future. Eventually the practice of arranging centerpieces became a tradition not just limited to wealthy families

 

from Wikipedia

 

I just took this tonight (Camera handheld and no flash, taken around 9:00 PM) July the 4TH, while the fireworks were kicking and everyone was looking the other way (you can see some people at the end of a pier looking at the fireworks in the opposite direction, right side of the photo), I decided to turn the camera the other way. It was a nice balmy night, though it got a little chilly later. The Moon was vivid but hazy as it basked the waters through the night.

Seabrook Wilson House, also called the Haunted Spyhouse notorious for it's ghostly sightings is visible in the center of this photo....

 

All of the following text was taken from Psychic Jane Doherty's website:

 

Spy House Museum...

PORT MONMOUTH, NJ-The most haunted house along the Jersey shore is the Spy House Museum, built around 1663 by Thomas Whitlock in Port Monmouth, New Jersey.The house is considered to be the first house built on the Jersey shoreline.

 

Spy House Museum - 1992

The house is probably haunted because of its physical age as well as its colorful and violent history. The haunted structure is a three story wooden house that has been steadily renovated throughout the centuries. The Spy House’s colorful past spans three centuries and has been a private home, an inn, a Revolutionary War gathering place for both the British military and the colonists,a pirate’s hangout, an occasional bordello and also a museum. During the American Revolution the private home was converted into an inn by the widow Seabrook to protect it from being burned or destroyed by the British. The house’s nickname was appropriately earned during the Revolutionary War. The Colonial spies watched the British leave their ships to come to the inn for supper and then they would attack the undermanned ships anchored in the harbor.

 

The Spy House was on the brink of being torn down, when a retired concert singer, Gertrude Neidlinger and her brother saved it. With her exuberance and pride in the history of the Shoal Harbor area Gertrude created a hands-on museum in the late 1960’s. For years, school children and groups of people enjoyed the museum along with the various outdoor activities that were offered there. In October 1990, Jane Doherty started ghost tours at the museum to educate people about the other side and to help generate revenue for the Spy House. The ghost tour’s became so popular that more tours were added each year to accommodate the crowds, but tours were still sold out. On the brink of national fame the Spy House was featured in two nationally distributed books, the television show Sightings, and had just been named in U.S. News & World Reports as one of the three most haunted houses in America, when the board of trustees evicted the curator and founder of the museum, Gertrude Neidlinger.

 

The board then stopped the ghost tours, changed the furniture, filled-in the original cellar with dirt and shortened the museum hours to weekends because of lack of funds. The controversy ensued from 1993 until a few days before Gertrude’s death. The Spy House museum was a haunted dwelling that people from all over the United States visited and enjoyed each year. Although no one can enjoy the museum as it use to be, the lingering memories, stories and experiences will always be remembered. Jane Doherty first visited the Spy House while filming a television show on the paranormal.

 

She was there to psychically investigate the Spy House for ghost activity under the watchful eye of Bill Roller, the skeptical host of a public interest program called In Your Interest on the Home Network Shopping Channel. Although the T.V. crew did not visually encounter any ghosts in the Spy House, Jane’s mother,experienced a ghostly sighting outside the house. Jane’s mom described a woman staring out to sea who didn’t move the whole time. The woman was dressed in clothes that Jane’s mother had not seen in this life. The woman wore along black skirt with a red blouse with billowy sleeves. Her hair was tied back with a big black bow and she wore a bonnet on her head that was tied under her chin.

 

After describing the experience to the curator of the museum, Gertrude informed Jane that was the spirit of Abigail who has been seen staring out to sea on numerous occasions. During the investigation Jane determined the presence of several spirits. In the downstairs room in the original section of the house there was a spirit who routinely walked from the fireplace to another section of the room seemingly tending to her chores. The woman spirit dressed in colonial garb was part of the haunting phenomenon. She just kept doing her earthly chores oblivious to her new spirit condition. Someone standing in her path could sometimes feel a chill as the colonial woman walked in her path.

 

However the spirit from the colonial time period would never know you were in her way, because she did not have a consciousness. She was caught in the other dimension redoing repetitively what she last did before her death. Although the camera crew and host did not sense the spirit, they did experience the dosing rods move as the spirit walked in her usual path. A rustling sound attracted the crew’s attention and a frightened gasp was now heard in the room. The TV host and crew now frightened with the possibility of encountering a spirit focused the camera in the area of the rustling sounds.There was a sigh of relief and a laugh as the spirit sounds were identified as a mouse rustling some autumn decorations and not a ghost.

 

A stern-looking sea captain has been seen looking through a telescope pointed to the sea. He has visibly materialized to several people throughout the years.A man named Roger, who participated in a Revolutionary War re-enactment at the museum saw the captain dressed in his uniform in the back upstairs bedroom. At first Roger thought the figure was a man participating in the re-enactment until the sea captain turned his head, frowned and then disappeared right in front of his eyes. The Reverend William Wilson, who was a later owner of the house, has been seen holding a minister’s bible conducting a funeral service in the front bedroom.

 

Historical accounts revealed the Reverend Wilson’s wife and mother-in-law died within ten days of each other.The spirit of Abigail has been seen at the back upstairs window staring out to sea. She reportedly waits for her husband to return. He was a sea captain who was lost at sea. At times loud sobs have been heard coming from the bedroom. Many witnesses have seen her image and people still wait at night in the parking lot in hopes of getting a glimpse of the spirit. Abigail is probably the spirit that has visibly materialized the most. There is a spirit of a young boy named Peter who has been seen wearing an English style shirt and knickers probably dating to the 1800’s. Peter reportedly plays with buttons and is known to interfere with cameras by moving the button to the off position just as a person tries to photograph a picture in the Spy House. Amateur and professional photographers have experienced the phenomenon. The camera will not work inside the house, but will function normally outside the house when away from the spirit energy. Re-entering the energy of the house usually repeats the problem. The mechanical mal-function is usually persistent until the photographer acknowledges the spirit presence in some way.

 

When the spirit is acknowledged, then it knows you are friendly and you are not there to test. If you hear a banging or clanging sound around the old potbelly stove, it will probably be the spirit of Tom. Some believe Tom is the spirit of Thomas Whitlock. A former owner of the house. Tom was notorious for one bad habit, especially during and immediately following Jane’s ghost tours. Tom loved people so much he often left the Spy House to follow visitors to their homes. Some were happy to have the other-worldly visitor and others were not so happy. During one of Jane’s tours a skeptical participant jokingly invited Tom to come home with them in order to prove the existence of ghosts. The next morning Jane received a frantic call from the tour participant. Sleepless and frightened he asked Jane for her help to release Tom from his house. John and his wife spent a freezing cold night with blankets piled high on them despite the thermometer reading of 70 degrees. John saw a figure in the room that moved towards his bed, which triggered the ice-cold feeling. Tom wouldn’t leave despite their pleadings. Needless to say John’s wife argued with him all night for being so stupid for testing the supernatural.

 

Episodes like this went on regularly during the Halloween ghost tour crowds. There was always a person who tested the paranormal who Tom enjoyed outsmarting. There was more spirit manifestations during the tours because of the energy of the crowds. Spirits need energy to manifest and during the crowded tours there was always an abundance of energy for an opportunity for a spirit to manifest.There were reports of an 18th century gentleman who manifested in a rather peculiar way. He liked women and let them know of his presence by pinching them on their rear ends. Considering that the house on several occasions served as a bordello, a male spirit interacting with female visitors was a common episode in this haunted house. Penelope Stout who once resided at the Whitlock-Seabrook house has been seen as a ghostly inhabitant on a number of occasions in the front bedroom. Penelope reportedly died childless and has been seen holding a baby in her arms. Penelope is a spirit apparently with a consciousness because she can interact with people who visit the house.

 

During a ghost tour at the Spy House a participant came with a baby in her arms. Startled, she screamed when she felt forces lift the baby out of her arms. She described the encounter as if a ghost were holding it – although the baby was still in her arms The most infamous of the spirits known to haunt the Spy House is Robert, a pirate who was Captain Morgan’s first mate. Jane first encountered Robert during a trance state. A New Jersey newspaper reporter was present to witness the spirit communication for a newspaper article in the Asbury Park Press. Much to Jane’s and the group’s surprise who were there to witness the event Robert spoke through Jane and revealed there were underground tunnels, buried treasure and other pirate loot at the Spy House.

 

An archeological dig was planned after sonar readings conducted by Rutgers University revealed data indicating the possibility of tunnels. The dig was abandoned after tests indicated the water table and ecological surface could not withstand the digging without ground collapse. Witnesses reported to Jane that there were a number of old sterling silver dining pieces recovered by local residents from the banks of the Spy House throughout the years. This is a mystery that will never be solved. A video of the investigation and cellar where the possible pirate tunnels exist has been filmed and is available for purchase.

  

Happy Thanksgiving - Joyeux Thanksgiving to my Canadian Flickr friends! ღ

... /file_thumbview/74644769/1

::: Collabor 88 :::

LaGyo - Mahalia Collection

(earings gold, necklace Gold, rings gold, Ice Cream, cigarette)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

:::The Seasons Story ::: [Available from 10 Oct. SLT]

David Heather - Autumn Style Gacha

(Astone Cap, Void Watch, Void Watch Case, Sleek Camera/Decor, Antler Sunglasses/Decor)

David Heather - Bomber Boots/Mahogany

elua - Wilma B

GABRIEL - Doll bear Gacha

GATO - The Botanical Collection - Bemuda Botanical

GATO - The Botanical Collection - Comfy Jacket Cable Knit

HEART HOMES - "Fall into bliss" Autumn themed living room set

(Autumn candle, Carpet, Pumpkins)

HEART HOMES - "Hanukkah" Complete Living room set

(Couples sofa, Single couch, Coffee table, Autumn decoration)

Kirin Pose Store - Aya Pose (Pose1, Pose2, Pose7)

KITJA CHERIE - Luna Trench Coat TAN

KITJA CHIERIE - Luna Headband TAN [TSS GIFT]

La Penderie de Nicole - Bicolor Dress:Brown

Le Primtif - Bustier Blouse - Koi

Olive - the Autumn Hair

Schadenfreude - Zirnitra Boots

Tableau Vivant - Koyo hair

theSkinnery - Hazel - Pumpkin (honey)

Zenith - Halloween Bag Gacha - Saladbag (choco/ patchwork A)

Zenith - Happy Halloween Headband [TSS GIFT]

 

Tysm, all<3

Blogged : kirin01.blogspot.jp/2014/10/450.html

 

our table centerpiece for autumn, again.

 

+7 more 365 photos at the blog!

The Mid-Autumn Festival is a harvest festival celebrated by ethnic Chinese and Vietnamese peoples. The festival is held on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese Han calendar and Vietnamese calendar (within 15 days of the autumnal equinox), on the night of the full moon between early September to early October of the Gregorian calendar.

 

Mainland China listed the festival as an "intangible cultural heritage" in 2006 and a public holiday in 2008. It is also a public holiday in Taiwan. Among the Vietnamese, it is considered the second-most important holiday tradition.

 

The Chinese have celebrated the harvest during the autumn full moon since the Shang Dynasty (c. 16th to 10th century BCE). Morris Berkowitz, who studied the Hakka people during the 1960s, theorizes that the harvest celebration originally began with worshiping Mountain Gods after the harvest was completed. The celebration as a festival only started to gain popularity during the early Tang Dynasty (618–907 CE). One legend explains that Emperor Xuanzong of Tang started to hold formal celebrations in his palace after having explored the Moon-Palace. The term mid-autumn (中秋) first appeared in Rites of Zhou, a written collection of rituals of the Western Zhou Dynasty (1046–771 BCE).

 

Empress Dowager Cixi (late 19th century) enjoyed celebrating Mid-Autumn Festival so much that she would spend the period between the thirteenth and seventeenth day of the eighth month staging elaborate rituals.

 

For the Vietnamese, in its most ancient form, the evening commemorated the dragon who brought rain for the crops. Celebrants would observe the moon to divine the future of the people and harvests. Eventually the celebration came to symbolize a reverence for fertility, with prayers given for bountiful harvests, increase in livestock, and human babies. Over time, the prayers for children evolved into a celebration of children. Confucian scholars continued the tradition of gazing at the moon, but to sip wine and improvise poetry and song. By the early twentieth century in Hanoi, the festival had begun to assume its identity as a children's festival.

 

An important part of the festival celebration is moon worship. The ancient Chinese believed in rejuvenation being associated with the moon and water, and connected this concept to the menses of women, calling it "monthly water". The Zhuang people, for example, have an ancient fable saying the sun and moon are a couple and the stars are their children, and when the moon is pregnant, it becomes round, and then becomes crescent after giving birth to a child. These beliefs made it popular among women to worship and give offerings to the moon on this evening. In some areas of China, there are still customs in which "men don't worship the moon and the women don't offer sacrifices to the kitchen gods."

 

Offerings are also made to a more well-known lunar deity, Chang'e, known as the Moon Goddess of Immortality. The myths associated with Chang'e explain the origin of moon worship during this day. One version of the story is as follows, as described in Lihui Yang's Handbook of Chinese Mythology:

 

In the ancient past, there was a hero named [Hou] Yi who was excellent at archery. His wife was Chang'e. One year, the ten suns rose in the sky together, causing great disaster to people. Yi shot down nine of the suns and left only one to provide light. An immortal admired Yi and sent him the elixir of immortality. Yi did not want to leave Chang'e and be immortal without her, so he let Chang'e keep the elixir. But Feng Meng, one of his apprentices, knew this secret. So, on the fifteenth of August in the lunar calendar, when Yi went hunting, Feng Meng broke into Yi's house and forced Chang'e to give the elixir to him. Chang'e refused to do so. Instead, she swallowed it and flew into the sky. Since she loved her husband very much and hoped to live nearby, she chose the moon for her residence. When Yi came back and learned what had happened, he felt so sad that he displayed the fruits and cakes Chang'e liked in the yard and gave sacrifices to his wife. People soon learned about these activities, and since they also were sympathetic to Chang'e they participated in these sacrifices with Yi.

 

Yang describes another version of the tale which provides a different reason for Chang'e ascending to the moon:

 

After the hero Houyi shot down nine of the ten suns, he was pronounced king by the thankful people. However, he soon became a conceited and tyrannical ruler. In order to live long without death, he asked for the elixir from Xiwangmu. But his wife, Chang'e, stole it on the fifteenth of August because she did not want the cruel king to live long and hurt more people. She took the magic potion to prevent her husband from becoming immortal. Houyi was so angry when discovered that Chang'e took the elixir, he shot at his wife as she flew toward the moon, though he missed. Chang'e fled to the moon and became the spirit of the moon. Houyi died soon because he was overcome with great anger. Thereafter, people offer a sacrifice to Chang'e on every lunar fifteenth of August to commemorate Chang'e's action.

  

Modern celebration

 

The festival was a time to enjoy the successful reaping of rice and wheat with food offerings made in honor of the moon. Today, it is still an occasion for outdoor reunions among friends and relatives to eat mooncakes and watch the moon, a symbol of harmony and unity. The festival is celebrated with many cultural or regional customs, among them:

 

Burning incense in reverence to deities including Chang'e.

Performance of dragon and lion dances, which is mainly practiced in southern China and Vietnam.

  

Imperial dishes served on this occasion included nine-jointed lotus roots which symbolize peace, and watermelons cut in the shape of lotus petals which symbolize reunion. Teacups were placed on stone tables in the garden, where the family would pour tea and chat, waiting for the moment when the full moon's reflection appeared in the center of their cups. Owing to the timing of the plant's blossoms, cassia wine is the traditional choice for the "reunion wine" drunk on the occasion. Also, people will celebrate by eating cassia cakes and candy.

 

Food offerings made to deities are placed on an altar set up in the courtyard, including apples, pears, peaches, grapes, pomegranates, melons, oranges, and pomelos. One of the first decorations purchased for the celebration table is a clay statue of the Jade Rabbit. In Chinese folklore, the Jade Rabbit was an animal that lived on the moon and accompanied Chang'e. Offerings of yellow beans and cockscomb flowers were made to the Jade Rabbit.

 

In Vietnam, cakes and fruits are not only consumed, but elaborately prepared as food displays. For example, glutinous rice flour and rice paste are molded into familiar animals. Pomelo sections can be fashioned into unicorns, rabbits, or dogs. Villagers of Xuân La, just south of Hanoi, produce tò he, figurines made from rice paste and colored with natural food dyes. Into the early decades of the twentieth century of Vietnam, daughters of wealthy families would prepare elaborate centerpieces filled with treats for their younger siblings. Well-dressed visitors could visit to observe the daughter's handiwork as an indication of her capabilities as a wife in the future. Eventually the practice of arranging centerpieces became a tradition not just limited to wealthy families

 

from Wikipedia

 

A short excerpt from an article entitled 'Royal Pains - What's in a Dame?' in the Nov. 2015 Town and Country magazine. Pages 210-211.

 

Britain's honors system, founded on more rugged battlefields, has been around since the a Middle Ages. Norman Kings bestowed knighthoods, orders of chivalry, and heraldry titles as part of England's feudal government, replacing the Anglo Saxon tradition of rewarding faithful service and gallantry in battle with grants of land, money, or weapons. Until the early 19th. century British chivalric orders were dispensed only to members of the aristocracy (heraldry dukes, earls, marquise's, and barons) and distinguished military figures.

These days Britain's system consists of six main orders of chivalry, each with its own ranks (as many as seven) and two orders of merit. They all have the statutes that dictate the size and colors of the corresponding insignia (badges, stars, ribbons, and sashes) ; how, when, and where they are worn; and post-nominal abbreviations. One of the cardinal rules of the current system is that British titles cannot be bought. Titles were blatantly sold by William the Conquerer during the 11th. century, and again in 1917, when the going rate for a knighthood was 10,000 £ and a hereditary baronetcy could be purchased for a whopping 40,000 £.

Today, in order of seniority and prestige, the chivalric orders are: the Most Noble Order of the Garter (relating to England and Wales); the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle (for Scotland); the Most Honourable Order of the Bath (for Senior Civil Servants and military officers); the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George (diplomats and colonial servants); the Royal Victorian Order (for services to the crown); the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (for miscellaneous military and civil services). For snob value no honor outranks the Most Noble of the Garter, Britain's oldest order of chivalry. Founder in 1344, it is awarded at the sovereign's pleasure, as a personal gift, and is limited to the monarch, the Prince of Wales, and 24 members, known as Knights Companions or Ladies Companions.

To some ears "Garter" is a comical name for such a coveted prize. According to the legend it was begun after "a trivial mishap" at a court ball when King Edward III was dancing with his alleged mistress Joan, Countess of Salisbury. When her garter slithered to her ankle, nearby courtiers sniggered at her humiliation. The king, in an act of chivalry, stooped to pick up the garter and affix it to his own knee, declaring in French, "Honi soit qui mal y pense. Tel qui s'en rit aujourd'hui, s'honorerea de la porter," or "Shame on him who thinks evil of it. Those who laugh at it today will be proud to wear it in the future."

The Garter has for centuries been awarded to distinguished statesmen and military figures like the dashing Earl of Moubtbatten, who was appointed to the order in 1946. By the mid-1950's, however, some knights complained that standards were slipping. "The trouble with the Order of the Garter these days," the 7th. Duke of Wellington remarked, "is that it is full of field marshals and people who do their own washing-up." To me, it was an excellent article. Unfortunately I could not locate the author's name.

 

Garter Day: www.flickr.com/photos/britishmonarchy/albums/721576447897...

 

Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense - Empire. "Shame on him who thinks ill of it".

 

www.flickr.com/photos/21728045@N08/9851675205/in/photolis...

 

A possible seal for sealing envelopes with sealing wax. I didn't look at it closely. Who knows, it may be a broken spoon fixed to a base. I'll have to return. I returned and it looks like a sealing stamp.

 

K.G. - The Most Noble Order of the Garter -

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Order_of_the_Garter

 

The Most Noble Order of the Garter is an English order of chivalry with a history stretching back to medieval times; today it is the world's oldest national order of knighthood in continuous existence and the pinnacle of the British honours system. Its membership is extremely limited, consisting of the Sovereign and not more than twenty-five full members, or Companions. Male members are known as Knights Companions, whilst female members are known as Ladies Companions (not Dames, as in most other British chivalric orders). The Order can also include certain extra members (members of the British Royal Family and foreign monarchs), known as "Supernumerary" Knights and Ladies. The Sovereign alone grants membership of the Order; the Prime Minister does not tender binding advice as to appointments, as he or she does for most other orders.

 

As the name suggests, the Order's primary emblem is a garter bearing the motto "Honi soit qui mal y pense" (which means "Shame on him who thinks ill of it") in gold letters. The Garter is an actual accessory worn by the members of the Order during ceremonial occasions; it is also depicted on several insignia.

 

Most British orders of chivalry cover the entire kingdom, but the three most exalted ones each pertain to one constituent nation only. The Order of the Garter, which pertains to England, is most senior in both age and precedence; its equivalent in Scotland is The Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle. Whilst the Order of the Thistle was certainly in existence by the sixteenth century and possibly has medieval origins (or even, according to more fanciful legends, dates to the eighth century), the foundation of the institution in its modern form dates only to 1687. In 1783 an Irish equivalent, The Most Illustrious Order of St Patrick, was founded, but since the independence of the greater part of Ireland the Order has fallen dormant (its last surviving knight died in 1974).

  

History:

 

The Order was founded circa 1348 by Edward III as "a society, fellowship and college of knights." Various more precise dates ranging from 1344 to 1351 have been proposed; the wardrobe account of Edward III first shows Garter habits issued in the autumn of 1348. At any rate, the Order was most probably not constituted before 1346; the original statutes required that each member admitted to the Order already be a knight (what would today be called a knight bachelor), and several initial members of the Order were first knighted in that year.

 

Various legends have been set forth to explain the origin of the Order. The most popular one involves the "Countess of Salisbury" (it may refer to Joan of Kent, the King's future daughter-in-law, or to her then mother-in-law, whom Edward is known to have admired). Whilst she was dancing with the King at Eltham Palace, her garter is said to have slipped from her leg to the floor. When the surrounding courtiers sniggered, the King picked it up and tied it to his own leg, exclaiming "Honi soit qui mal y pense." (The French may be loosely translated as "Shame on him who thinks ill of it"; it has become the motto of the Order.) According to another myth, Richard I, whilst fighting in the Crusades, was inspired by St George to tie garters around the legs of his knights; Edward III supposedly recalled the event, which led to victory, when he founded the Order.

  

Composition:

 

Sovereign and Knights

 

Since its foundation, the Order of the Garter has included the Sovereign and Knights Companions. The Sovereign of the United Kingdom serves as Sovereign of the Order.

  

Queen Elizabeth II in Garter Robes:

 

The Prince of Wales is explicitly mentioned in the Order's statutes and is by convention created a Knight Companion; aside from him, there may be up to twenty-four other Knights Companions. In the early days of the Order, women (who could not be knighted), were sometimes associated with the Order under the name "Ladies of the Garter," but they were not full companions. Henry VII, however, ended the practice, creating no more Ladies of the Garter after his mother Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Derby (appointed in 1488).

 

Thereafter, the Order was exclusively male (except, of course, for the occasional female Sovereign) until 1901, when Edward VII created Queen Alexandra (his wife) a Lady of the Garter. Throughout the 20th century women continued to be admitted to the Order, but, except for foreign female monarchs, they were not full members of the Order until 1987, when it became possible, under a statute of Elizabeth II, to appoint "Ladies Companions."

 

In addition to the regular Knights and Ladies Companions, the Sovereign can also appoint "Supernumerary Knights". This concept was introduced in 1786 by George III so that his many sons would not count towards the limit of twenty-five companions set by the statutes; in 1805, he extended the category so that any descendant of George II could be created a Supernumerary Knight. Since 1831, the exception applies to all descendents of George I. Such companions, when appointed, are sometimes known as "Royal Knights."

 

From time to time, foreign monarchs have also been admitted to the Order; and for two centuries they also have not counted against the limit of twenty-five companions, being (like the Royal Knights aforementioned), supernumerary. Formerly, each such extra creation required the enactment of a special statute; this was first done in 1813, when Alexander I, Emperor of Russia was admitted to the Order. Many European monarchs are in fact descended from George I and can be appointed supernumerarily as such, but a statute of 1954 authorizes the regular admission of foreign Knights and Ladies without further special statutes irrespective of descent. The appellation "Stranger Knights," which dates to the middle ages, is sometimes applied to foreign monarchs in the Order of the Garter.

 

Generally, only foreign monarchs are made Stranger Knights or Ladies; when The Rt Hon. Sir Ninian Stephen (an Australian citizen) and Sir Edmund Hillary (from New Zealand) joined the Order, they did so as Knights Companions in the normal fashion. The British Sovereign is the head of state of both these countries, which were formerly British colonies.

 

Formerly, whenever vacancies arose, the Knights would conduct an "election," wherein each Knight voted for nine candidates (of which three had to be of the rank of Earl or above, three of the rank of Baron or above, and three of the rank of Knight or above). The Sovereign would then choose as many individuals as were necessary to fill the vacancies; he or she was not bound to choose the receivers of the greatest number of votes. Victoria dispensed with the procedure in 1862; thereafter, all appointments were made solely by the Sovereign. From the eighteenth century onwards, the Sovereign made his or her choices upon the advice of the Government. George VI felt that the Orders of the Garter and the Thistle had become too linked with political patronage; in 1946, with the agreement of the Prime Minister (Clement Attlee) and the Leader of the Opposition (Winston Churchill), he returned these two orders to the personal gift of the Sovereign.

 

Knights of the Garter could also be degraded by the Sovereign, who normally took such an action in response to serious crimes such as treason. The last degradation was that of James Butler, 2nd Duke of Ormonde, who had participated in the Jacobite Rebellion and had been convicted upon impeachment, in 1716. During the First World War, Knights who were monarchs of enemy nations were removed by the "annulment" of their creations; Knights Companions who fought against the United Kingdom were "struck off" the Rolls. All such annulments were made in 1915.

 

The Knights who were removed were:

Francis Joseph, Emperor of Austria

William II, Emperor of Germany

Ernst August, 3rd Duke of Cumberland

Prince Albert William Henry of Prussia

Ernest, Grand Duke of Hesse and the Rhine

William, Crown Prince of Germany

William II, King of Württemberg

The only Knight Companion to be struck off the Rolls was Prince Charles Edward, 2nd Duke of Albany.

 

Poor Knights:

 

At the original establishment of the Order, twenty-six "Poor Knights" were appointed and attached to the Order and its chapel at St. George's Chapel, Windsor. The number was not always maintained; by the seventeenth century, there were just thirteen Poor Knights. At his restoration, Charles II increased the number to eighteen. After they objected to being termed "poor", William IV renamed them the Military Knights of Windsor.

 

Poor Knights were originally impoverished military veterans. They were required to pray daily for the Sovereign and Knights Companions; in return, they received a salary, and were lodged in Windsor Castle. Today the Military Knights, who are no longer necessarily poor, but are still military pensioners, participate in the Order's processions, escorting the Knights and Ladies of the Garter, and in the daily services in St George's Chapel. They are not actually members of the Order itself, nor are they necessarily actual knights: indeed few if any have been knights.

 

Officers:

 

The Order of the Garter has six officers:

the Prelate

the Chancellor

the Registrar

the King of Arms

the Usher

the Secretary

The offices of Prelate, Registrar and Usher were created upon the Order's foundation; the offices of King of Arms and Chancellor were created during the fifteenth century, and that of Secretary during the twentieth.

 

The office of Prelate is held by the Bishop of Winchester, traditionally one of the senior bishops of the Church of England. The office of Chancellor was formerly held by the Bishop of the diocese within which Windsor fell— at one point, the Bishop of Salisbury, but after boundary changes the Bishop of Oxford. Later, the field was widened so that, for example, the Stuart courtier Sir James Palmer served as Chancellor from 1645 although he was neither a prelate nor even a companion (although he was a Knight Bachelor). Today, however, one of the companions serves as Chancellor. The Dean of Windsor is, ex officio, the Registrar.

 

Garter King of Arms is the head of the College of Arms (England's heraldic authority) and thus the "principal" herald for all England (along with Wales and Northern Ireland). As his title suggests, he also has specific duties as the heraldic officer of the Order of the Garter, attending to the companions' crests and coats of arms, which are exhibited in the Order's chapel (see below). The modern (1904) office of Secretary has also been filled by a professional herald.

 

The Order's Usher is the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod. He is also the Serjeant-at-Arms of the House of Lords (although his functions there are more often performed by his deputy, the Yeoman Usher). The title of his office comes from his staff of office, the Black Rod.

  

Vestments and accoutrements:

 

Sovereign and Knights:

 

For the Order's great occasions, such as its annual service each June in Windsor Castle, as well for coronations, the Companions wear an elaborate costume:

 

Today Knights of the Garter wear their distinctive habits over ordinary suits or military uniforms. For the coronation of George IV in 1821, this version of Jacobean dress was devised.

Most importantly (although hardly visible), the Garter is a buckled velvet strap worn around the left calf by men and on the left arm by women. Originally light blue, today the Garter is dark blue. Those presented to Stranger Knights were once set with several jewels. The Garter bears the Order's motto in gold majuscules.

The mantle is a blue velvet robe. Knights and Ladies Companions have worn mantles, or coats, since the reign of Henry VII. Once made of wool, they had come to be made of velvet by the sixteenth century. The mantle was originally purple, but varied during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries between celestial blue, pale blue, royal blue, dark blue, violet and ultramarine. Today, mantles are dark blue in colour, and are lined with white taffeta. The mantles of the Sovereign and members of the Royal Family end in trains. Sewn onto the left shoulder of the mantle is a shield bearing St George's cross, encircled by a Garter; the Sovereign's mantle is slightly different, showing instead a representation of the star of the Order (see below). Attached to the mantle over the right shoulder are a crimson velvet

hood and surcoat, which have lost all function over time and appear to the modern observer simply as a splash of colour. Today the mantle, which includes two large gold tassels, is worn over a regular suit or military uniform.

The hat is of black velvet, and bears a plume of white ostrich and black heron feathers.

Like the mantle, the collar was introduced during Henry VII's reign. Made of pure gold, it weighs 30 troy ounces (0.93 kilogram). The collar is composed of gold knots alternating with enamelled medallions showing a rose encircled by the blue garter. During Henry VII's reign, each garter surrounded two roses—one red and one white—but he later changed the design, such that each garter now encircles just one red rose. The collar is worn around the neck, over the mantle.

The George, a three-dimensional figurine of St George on horseback slaying a dragon, colourfully enamelled, is worn suspended from the collar.

 

Queen Victoria wearing the Garter around her arm.

Aside from these special occasions, however, much simpler insignia are used whenever a member of the Order attends an event at which decorations are worn.

The star, introduced by Charles I, is an eight-pointed silver badge; in its centre is an enamel depiction of the cross of St George, surrounded by the Garter. (Each of the eight points is depicted as a cluster of rays, with the four points of the cardinal directions longer than the intermediate ones.) It is worn pinned to the left breast. Formerly, the stars given to foreign monarchs were often inlaid with jewels. (Since the Order of the Garter is the UK's senior order, a member will wear its star above that of other orders to which he or she belongs; up to four orders' stars may be worn.)

 

The broad riband, introduced by Charles II, is a four inch wide sash, worn from the left shoulder to the right hip. (Depending on the other clothing worn, it either passes over the left shoulder, or is pinned beneath it.) The riband's colour has varied over the years; it was originally light blue, but was a dark shade under the Hanoverian monarchs. In 1950, the colour was fixed as "kingfisher blue". (Only one riband is worn at a time, even if a Knight or Lady belongs to several orders.)

The badge (sometimes known as the Lesser George) hangs from the riband at the right hip, suspended from a small

 

Insignia of the Order of the Garter:

gold link (formerly, before Charles II introduced the broad riband, it was around the neck). Like the George, it shows St George slaying the dragon, but it is flatter and monochromatically gold. In the fifteenth century, the Lesser George was usually worn attached to a ribbon around the neck. As this was not convenient when riding a horse, the custom of wearing it under the right arm developed.

However, on certain "collar days" designated by the Sovereign, members attending formal events may wear the Order's collar over their military uniform or eveningwear. The collar is fastened to the shoulders with silk ribbons. They will then substitute the broad riband of another order to which they belong (if any), since the Order of the Garter is represented by the collar.

 

Upon the death of a Knight or Lady, the insignia must be returned to the Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood. The badge and star are returned personally to the Sovereign by the nearest male relative of the deceased.

 

Poor Knights:

 

Poor Knights originally wore red mantles, each of which bore the cross of St George, but did not depict the Garter. Elizabeth I replaced the mantles with blue and purple gowns, but Charles I returned to the old red mantles. When the Poor Knights were renamed Military Knights, the mantles were abandoned. Instead, the Military Knights of Windsor now wear the old military uniform of an "army officer on the unattached list": black trousers, a scarlet coat, a cocked hat with a plume, and a sword on a white sash.

 

Officers:

 

The officers of the Order also have ceremonial vestments and other accoutrements that they wear and carry for the Order's annual service. The Prelate's and Chancellor's mantles are blue, like that of the knights (but since the Chancellor is now a member of the Order, he simply wears a knight's mantle), those of other officers crimson; all are embroidered with a shield bearing the Cross of St George. Garter King of Arms wears his tabard.

 

Assigned to each officer of the Order is a distinctive badge that he wears on a chain around his neck; each is surrounded by a representation of the garter. The Prelate's badge depicts St George slaying a dragon; the Garter within which it is depicted is surmounted by a bishop's mitre. The Chancellor's badge is a rose encircled by the Garter. The badge of Garter Principal King of Arms depicts the royal arms impaled (side-by-side) with the cross of St George. The Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod's badge depicts a knot within the Garter. The Registrar has a badge of a crown above two crossed quills, the Secretary two crossed quills in front of a rose.

 

The Chancellor of the Order bears a purse, embroidered with the royal arms, containing the Seal of the Order. The Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod carries his staff of office, the Black Rod. At the Order's great occasions, Garter Principal King of Arms bears his baton of office as a king of arms; he does not usually wear his crown.

  

Chapel:

 

The Chapel of the Order is St. George's Chapel, Windsor, located in the Lower Ward of Windsor Castle. It was founded for

 

At the order's annual gathering and service, the sovereign and companions — such as George VI and Queen Elizabeth, shown here — process through Windsor Castle to St. George's chapel.

the Order in 1475. The order once held frequent services at the Chapel, but they became rare in the eighteenth century. Discontinued after 1805, the ceremony was revived by George VI in 1948 and it has become an annual event. On a certain day each June, the members of the Order (wearing their ceremonial vestments and insignia) meet in the state apartments in the Upper Ward of Windsor Castle, then (preceded by the Military Knights) process on foot down through the castle to St George's Chapel for the service. If there are any new knights, they are installed on this occasion. After the service, the members of the Order return to the Upper Ward by carriage.

 

Each member of the Order, including the Sovereign, is allotted a stall in the quire of the chapel, above which his or her heraldic devices are displayed. Perched on the pinnacle of a knight's stall is his helm, decorated with a mantling and topped by his crest. Under English heraldic law, women other than monarchs do not bear helms or crests; instead, the coronet appropriate to the Lady's rank is used (see coronet). The crests of the Sovereign and Stranger Knights who are monarchs sit atop their crowns, which are themselves perched on their helms. Below each helm, a sword is displayed.

 

Above the crest or coronet, the knight's or lady's heraldic banner is hung, emblazoned with his or her coat of arms. At a considerably smaller scale, to the back of the stall is affixed a piece of brass (a "stall plate") displaying its occupant's name, arms and date of admission into the Order.

 

Upon the death of a Knight, the banner, helm, mantling, crest (or coronet or crown) and sword are taken down. No other newly admitted Knight may be assigned the stall until (after the funeral of the late Knight or Lady) a ceremony marking his or her death is observed at the chapel, during which Military Knights of Windsor carry the banner of the deceased Knight and offer it to the Dean of Windsor, who places it upon the altar. The stall plates, however, are not removed; rather, they remain permanently affixed somewhere about the stall, so the stalls of the chapel are festooned with a colourful record of the Order's Knights (and now Ladies) throughout history.

  

Precedence and privileges:

 

Knights and Ladies of the Garter are assigned positions in the order of precedence, coming before all others of knightly rank, and above baronets. (See order of precedence in England and Wales for the exact positions.) Wives, sons, daughters and

 

The arms of Knights and Ladies (as well as the Sovereign) may be encircled by the Garter.

daughters-in-law of Knights of the Garter also feature on the order of precedence; relatives of Ladies of the Garter, however, are not assigned any special precedence. (Generally, individuals can derive precedence from their fathers or husbands, but not from their mothers or wives.)

 

The Chancellor of the Order is also assigned precedence, but this is purely academic since today the Chancellor is always also a Knight Companion, with a higher position by that virtue.

 

(In fact, it is unclear whether the Chancellor's tabled precedence has ever come into effect, since under the old system the office was filled by a diocesan bishop of the Church of England, who again had higher precedence by virtue of that office than any that the Chancellorship could bestow on him.)

 

Knights Companions prefix "Sir," and Ladies Companions prefix "Lady," to their forenames. Wives of Knights Companions may prefix "Lady" to their surnames, but no equivalent privilege exists for husbands of Ladies Companions. Such forms are not used by peers and princes, except when the names of the former are written out in their fullest forms.

 

Knights and Ladies use the post-nominal letters "KG" and "LG," respectively. When an individual is entitled to use multiple post-nominal letters, KG or LG appears before all others, except "Bt" (Baronet), "VC" (Victoria Cross) and "GC" (George Cross).

 

The Sovereign, Knights and Ladies Companions and Supernumerary Knights and Ladies may encircle their arms with a representation of the Garter; and since it is Britain's highest order of knighthood, the Garter will tend to be displayed in preference to the insignia of any other order, unless there is special reason to highlight a junior one. (They may further encircle the Garter with a depiction of Order's collar, but this very elaborate version is seldom seen.) Stranger Knights, of course, do not embellish the arms they use at home with foreign decorations such as the Garter; likewise, while the UK Royal Arms as used in England are encircled by the Garter, in Scotland they are surrounded by the circlet of the Order of the Thistle instead. (In Wales and Northern Ireland, the English pattern is followed.)

 

Knights and Ladies are also entitled to receive heraldic supporters. These are relatively rare among private individuals in the UK. While some families claim supporters by ancient use and others have been granted them as a special reward, only peers, Knights and Ladies of the Garter and Thistle, and Knights and Dames Grand Cross and Knights Grand Commanders of certain junior orders are entitled to claim an automatic grant of supporters (upon payment of the appropriate fees to the College of Arms).

  

Current members and officers:

 

Sovereign: HM The Queen

Knights and Ladies Companions:

HRH The Prince of Wales KG KT GCB OM AK QSO PC ADC (1958)

His Grace The Duke of Grafton KG DL (1976)

The Rt Hon. The Lord Richardson of Duntisbourne KG MBE TD PC DL (1983)

The Rt Hon. The Lord Carrington KG GCMG CH MC PC JP DL (1985)

His Grace The Duke of Wellington KG LVO OBE MC DL (1990)

Field Marshal The Rt Hon. The Lord Bramall KG GCB OBE MC JP (1990)

The Rt Hon. The Viscount Ridley KG GCVO TD (1992)

The Rt Hon. The Lord Sainsbury of Preston Candover KG (1992)

The Rt Hon. The Lord Ashburton KG KCVO DL (1994)

The Rt Hon. The Lord Kingsdown KG PC (1994)

The Rt Hon. Sir Ninian Stephen KG AK GCMG GCVO KBE (1994)

The Rt Hon. The Baroness Thatcher LG OM PC FRS (1995)

Sir Edmund Hillary KG ONZ KBE (1995)

Sir Timothy Colman KG JP (1996)

His Grace The Duke of Abercorn Bt KG (1999)

Sir William Gladstone of Fasque and Balfour Bt KG DL (1999)

Field Marshal The Rt Hon. The Lord Inge KG GCB DL (2001)

Sir Antony Arthur Acland KG GCMG GCVO (2001)

His Grace The Duke of Westminster KG OBE TD DL (2003)

The Rt Hon. The Lord Butler of Brockwell KG GCB CVO PC (2003)

The Rt Hon. The Lord Morris of Aberavon KG PC QC (2003)

The Rt Hon. Sir John Major KG CH (2005)

The Rt Hon. The Lord Bingham of Cornhill KG PC (2005)

The Rt Hon. The Lady Soames LG DBE (2005)

(one vacancy following the death of The Rt Hon. Sir Edward Heath KG MBE)

 

Royal Knights and Ladies (supernumerary knights and ladies descended from George I):

HRH The Duke of Edinburgh KG KT OM GBE AC QSO PC (1947)

HRH The Duke of Kent KG GCMG GCVO (1985)

HRH The Princess Royal LG LT GCVO QSO (1994)

HRH The Duke of Gloucester KG GCVO (1997)

HRH Princess Alexandra, The Honourable Lady Ogilvy LG GCVO (2003)

 

Stranger Knights and Ladies:

HRH Grand Duke Jean sometime Grand Duke of Luxembourg (1972)

HM The Queen of Denmark (1979)

HM The King of Sweden (1983)

HM The King of Spain (1988)

HM The Queen of the Netherlands (1989)

HIM The Emperor of Japan (1998)

HM The King of Norway (2001)

 

Officers:

Prelate: The Rt Revd Michael Scott-Joynt (Lord Bishop of Winchester)

Chancellor: The Rt Hon. The Lord Carrington KG GCMG CH MC PC DL

Registrar: The Rt Revd David Conner (Dean of St George's Chapel, Windsor)

King of Arms: Peter Llewellyn Gwynn-Jones Esq. CVO (Garter Principal King of Arms)

Secretary: Patric Dickinson Esq. CVO (Richmond Herald)

Usher: Lt-Gen. Sir Michael Willcocks KCB (Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod).

 

Try this beam of Masonic light:

www.flickr.com/photos/21728045@N08/2128203765/

Forgotten typewriter/Máquina de escribir olvidada

 

Copenhagen (Denmark)

 

En un lugar tan acogedor dan ganas de trabajar, quedarse para inspirarse un rato o echarse una sietecita... El hecho de que sea una ruidosa cafetería hasta lo podría pasar por alto.

 

______

 

In such a cozy place I feel like working, staying a while looking for inspiration or even taking a little nap.... I don’t even care that this is actually a noisy cafeteria.

 

getty images - society6 - website - facebook- youtube - instagram

eng.tzar.ru/museums/palaces/catherine_park/regular/hermitage

 

Pavilions like this with a name taken from the French language were a common feature of regular gardens in the eighteenth century. They were intended to enable the owner of the estate to rest and dine in the company of a select few and were located in the “wild” area of the park. In order to avoid the inhibiting presence of servants, such pavilions were usually fitted with mechanisms that enabled the tables to be raised and lowered.

 

The Hermitage pavilion in the Regular Park (the Catherine Park) at Tsarskoye Selo was originally designed by Mikhail Zemtsov. The laying of the foundations began in the spring of 1744 and was completed by autumn that same year. In 1749, however, the facades of the pavilion that was by that time built were reconstructed in accordance with a new project devised by Rastrelli. The unique signature of Empress Elizabeth’s chief architect is present in the exceptionally complex aspects that the building presents to the viewer when seen from close by.

 

Two years later, in keeping with Rastrelli’s concept, the master stucco-workers Giovanni Battista Giani and G.-F. Partier installed 68 large and small capitals on the columns of the Hermitage and 28 more on the pilasters. The architect also included sculpture in the external decoration of the pavilion: eight statues stood on the pedestals of the balustrade at the base of the octagonal dome, while four others crowned the roofs of the cabinets. The central dome was topped by a sculptural group depicting The Rape of Proserpine. The building was further adorned by sixteen statues placed between the groups of columns on the facades of the cabinets. These stood on pedestals embellished with rocailles and, judging by what can be seen on drawings and engravings, they were all different. Statues of Glory on large pediments supported a magnificent cartouche containing the Empress’s monogram.

In 1753 the stuccowork was covered in gilding and the facades were painted: the white columns and architraves, the golden mouldings and sculpture were strikingly set off by the blue-green “salady” colour of the walls. The roof, originally green, was painted white in 1755 and the statues and garlands adorning it glistened with gold. The decoration of the facades of the Hermitage was completed at the same time as its interior decoration, which was begun in 1748.

 

Placed on a terrace paved with black and white marble slabs, the pavilion was encircled by an elaborately shaped moat with two small bridges. The moat was bordered by a balustrade that was also decorated with statues and vases. The moat and the wild grove were intended to inspire a mood of melancholy solitude, put people in a contemplative frame of mind and inspire recollections. In the words of Christian Hirschfeld, an expert on the theory of park design, “the mysterious gloom and darkness of a spot, deep solitude and solemn silence, the magnificent features of nature will not fail to invest the mind with a certain feeling and oblige it to serious refelction.” The moat, however, was never filled with water, of which there was a constant shortage in Tsarskoye Selo (this fact is borne out by archive documents and archaeological research carried out in 2006) and in 1777 it was filled in on the orders of Catherine II, the new mistress of the residence.

 

The Hermitage pavilion was never reconstructed after the mid-eighteenth century and so its interior decoration has come down to us practically unaltered. The rectangular central hall is connected by four galleries leading diagonally from it to four “cabinets” with square floor-plans. The décor of the Hermitage’s main hall, created by Rastrelli, is particularly interesting. Thanks to the wide windows that also served as doors to the balconies, the hall is transfused with light. Between the windows Rastrelli placed mirrors in carved and gilded frames that merge with the surrounds of the painted dessus-de-portes. Originally the hall contained dining-tables with hoists. The purpose of the hall was indicated by the subject of Giuseppe Valeriani’s ceiling painting – Jupiter and Juno invite the celestials to a table laid and set with luxurious tableware. Valeriani took the subjects for the painted panels above the mirrors in the central hall from Ovid’s Metamorphoses: Bacchus and Ariadne, Apollo Pursuing Daphne, Bacchus Crowning Daphne with a Crown of Stars and The Rape of Europa.

 

The ceiling paintings in the galleries running out to the cabinets were painted by Antonio Peresinotti. Their subjects echoed the bas-reliefs on the facades of the Hermitage and depicted cupids with allegorical attributes of the seasons.

 

Purchase the above image at leslie-montgomery.pixels.com for wall art or on merchandise.

Here are some of my latest creations..Th

 

This creation has been needle felted from scratch using wool fibers and a very pointy felting needle. No patterns or glue were used

 

This creation has been needle felted from scratch using wool fibers and a very pointy felting needle. No patterns or glue were used. Please check my profile for availability

 

This creation has been needle felted from scratch using wool fibers and a very pointy felting needle. No patterns or glue were used. Please check my profile for availability. Enjoy!

 

These are lovingly hand crafted using a

 

These are lovingly hand crafted using a needle felting needle and wool fleece. No glue, thread or patterns were used. Please see my profile for availability. Thank you and Enjoy!

YAY i won !!!! avatarstyle.net/2011/10/22/winner-of-october-photo-contest/

   

for Photo Contest - Opulent Magazine & Avatar Style

original size of this photo

 

Photographer and Models: Sway Dench

 

Credits

 

She:

Skin - Curio

Hair - Truth

Ears - Plastik

Glasses - Reek

Top - Atomic

Knit Jacket - KiiToS

Pants - mon tissu

Boots - Anexx

 

He:

Skin - Redgrave

Shirt - Reek

Cardigan - Reek

Pants - Last Call

Boots - Reek

 

Background:

Table, Stumps and Decoration - Sway's

Skydome - Turnip's

Trees - Botanical

Mushrooms - Coyura Creation

Ground Fog - Heart

Grass and Log - Zacca

 

Main Pumpkin: Sway's - Pumpkin Carving Set

 

Opulent Magazine Photo Contest

 

Sway's Blog

  

Around the House

Phenix City, Alabama USA

 

The photo in this posting was taken by, and is © 2008 Shawn & Melissa Fowler and as such, may not be reused for any reason without prior consent.

I like using toys or other tangible objects with books that I read to my daughters. This little mouse is good to use with "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" or any of the "If You Give a Mouse..." books; and the nursery rhyme "Hickory Dickory Dock."

 

There's a another little mouse I made using a lighter gray wool felt. These two make a nice pair. Please see my Flickr profile for the link to my Etsy shop.

Mysore Palace

 

A Palace without a King at the moment

 

Mysore has a number of historic palaces, and is commonly described as the City of Palaces. However, the term "Mysore Palace" specifically refers to one within the old fort. The palace was commissioned in 1897, and its construction was completed in 1912. It is now one of the most famous tourist attractions in Mysore. Although tourists are allowed to visit the palace, they are not allowed to take photographs inside the palace.

 

Architecture

The architectural style of the palace is commonly described as Indo-Saracenic, and blends together Hindu, Muslim, Rajput, and Gothic styles of architecture. It is a three-storied stone structure, with marble domes and a 145 ft five-storied tower. The palace is surrounded by a large garden.

The three storied stone building of fine gray granite with deep pink marble domes was designed by Henry Irwin. The facade has seven expansive arches and two smaller ones flanking the central arch, which is supported by tall pillars.

Above the central arch is an impressive sculpture of Gajalakshmi, the goddess of wealth, prosperity, good luck, and abundance with her elephants.

 

Chivalry and romance are associated with the emergence of the Yadu or Wadiyar dynasty, who ruled from Mysore from 14th century onwards for nearly six centuries. As one enters the Eastern gate of the Mysore Palace, one can spot a small temple dedicated to Kodi Bhyraveswara. This temple is of historical significance as it saw the emergence of the Wadiyar dynasty. In this temple, a dramatic turn of events took place way back in the year 1399 A.D.

 

As the story goes, two young men, Vijaya and Krishna of the Yadu dynasty hailing from Dwaraka in Gujarat came to Mysore, after visiting Melkote on their pilgrimage. The two royal princes took shelter at the Kodi Bhyraveswara Temple, which was close to the Doddakere, from where people of then small city of Mysore fetched water for drinking and daily chore. At dawn, they heard some women, while washing closes discussing the distress situation of the young Princess Devajammanni. The death of her father, Chamaraja, the local ruler, had landed her and her mother, the queen, in trouble. Taking advantage of the situation, the neighbouring Chief of Karugahalli, Maranayaka, began demanding the kingdom and the princess in marriage. Taking the help of a Jangama Odeya, a Shaivite religious man, the two chivalrous brothers came to the rescue of the distressed Maharani and the Princess. Mobilising troops, they killed the Karugahalli Chief and his men and saved the Mysore royal family and their kingdom. A happy princess married the elder brother, Vijaya, and he became the first ruler of the Yadu dynasty. He assumed the name Yaduraya. Thus the traditional founding of the Wadiyar dynasty took place in 1399 with Yaduraya. Since then, 24 rulers have succeeded in the dynasty, the last being Jayachamaraja Wadiyar. It is during his period, India won freedom and later monarchy was abolished. With that ended the reign of the Mysore Maharajas. Yaduraya ruled from 1399 to 1423. Hiriya Bettada Chamaraja Wadiyar (1423-1459), Thimmaraja Wadiyar (1459-1478) and Hiriya Chamaraja Wadiyar (1478-1513) succeeded him. Hiriya Bettada Chamaraja Wadiyar II (1513-1553) became the fifth ruler. Thimmaraja Wadiyar (1553-1572) succeeded him and he defeated some neighbouring chieftains and expanded his boundary. The next ruler, Bola Chamaraja Wadiyar (1572-1576) was called 'Bola' or 'Bald' because while he was visiting the Chamundi Hills to worship the Goddess, a lightning struck and he lost all his hairs. After him, Bettada Chamaraja Wadiyar III (1576-1578) ruled for a brief period of about two years.

 

The next ruler, Raja Wadiyar (1578-1617), emerges as the first powerful ruler in the Mysore royal family. Till his emergence, Mysore was a small feudatory kingdom under the Vijayanagar Kingdom. The Mysore chieftains owed allegiance to the Vijayanagar kings and the Vijayanagar representative at Srirangapatna. Taking advantage of the fall of Vijayanagar kingdom in 1565 A.D., Raja Wadiyar defeated the Vijayanagar representative in a battle at Kesare near Mysore, shifted his capital from Mysore to Srirangapatna in 1610 and acquire the famous throne and ascended it. However, he continued the traditions of Vijayanagar and revived the famous Dasara festival, celebrating it for the first time in Srirangapatna with pomp and grandeur. After Chamaraja Wadiyar (1617-1637) and Raja Wadiyar II (1637-1638), the next powerful ruler to ascend the throne of Mysore was Ranadhira Kantirava Narasaraja Wadiyar (1638-1659). A courageous ruler, he successfully fought back the efforts of Bijapur Badsha to acquire Srirangapanta twice, fortified the Srirangapatna and Mysore forts with arms and weapons, and began minting coins with his seals. Dodda Devaraja Wadiyar (1659-1673), who ruled next, further expanded the kingdom by acquiring areas of Keladi Shivappa Naika and Palegars of Madurai and Thiruchinapalli.

 

Chikka Devaraja Wadiyar (1673-1704) emerges as the next celebrated ruler. Besides further expanding the kingdom and strengthening the forts, he introduced modern administration with a lot of reforms in his vastly expanded kingdom. He appointed staff for specific jobs, fixed wages for different works, built several canals to provide water for irrigation, introduced weights and measures and also postal system, imposed taxes to improve revenue, constructed storehouses to store produces, and set up 18 departments (Chavadis) in the administration. During his 31 years of reign, Mysore saw peak of its glory. Kannada literature flourished under him, the Maharaja himself making significant contribution. Kantirava Narasaraja Wadiyar (1704-1714), Dodda Krishnaraja Wadiyar (1714-1732) and Chamaraja Wadiyar (1732-1734) succeeded Chikka Devaraja. It was during the reign of Krishnaraja Wadiyar II (1734-1766), Hyder Ali Khan and his celebrated son Tipu Sultan became the virtual rulers of Mysore. They were in total command till 1799 when the British Army killed Tipu in the 4th Mysore War in Srirangapatna. Nanjaraja Wadiyar (1766-1770), Bettada Chamaraja Wadiyar (1770-1776) and Khasa Chamaraja Wadiyar (1776-1796) continued as rulers in the Mysore dynasty during the interregnum. With the death of Tipu, the capital was shifted back to Mysore. Five-year-old Prince Krishnaraja Wadiyar III was installed on the throne of Mysore in 1799. He ruled till 1868. He revived the Dasara celebrations on a grand scale in Mysore. The old Mysore Palace was rebuilt. During his period, steps began to be initiated for developing Mysore into a modern township. New Agraharas and temples were built outside the Palace Fort. Kannada literature saw a new dimension.

Krishnaraja Wadiyar was the longest ruler and Chamaraja Wadiyar, during whose period Mysore saw further progress on modern lines, succeeded him. Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV became the 24th ruler of Mysore in 1895. His mother, Maharani Kempananjammanni of Vanivilasa Sanndihana was Regent during his minority from1895-1902.

The 38-year rule of the Maharaja saw an all-round progress in his State, including Mysore. Ably assisted by two Dewans, Sir M.Visvesvaraya and Sir Mirza Ismail, Mysore emerged as a modern city and State. It earned the encomium 'Ramarajya'. After his death in 1940, Jayachamaraja Wadiyar became the 25th and the last ruler of the Mysore royal family.

 

Special events

Every autumn, the Palace is the venue for the famous Mysore Dasara festival, during which leading artists perform on a stage set up in the palace grounds. On the tenth day of the festival Vijaya Dashami, a parade with caparisoned elephants and other floats originate from the palace grounds.

Dasara is the most extravagant festival of Mysore. The Dasara festival is celebrated in the months of September and October of each year.

The festival celebrates and commemorates the victory of the great goddess Durga, after she slew the demon, Mahishasura, and thereby, symbolizing the triumph of good over evil according to Hindu mythology. Some call her Chamundeshwari.

This festival has been celebrated by the Wadiyars at Srirangapatna from 1610 and in Mysore with great pomp from 1799 and the tradition still is carried on although the scale of the celebrations has diminished. The Dasara festivities have become an integral part of the culture and life in Mysore.

To celebrate this festival the Palace of Mysore is illuminated with more than 96,000 lights during that two month period.

 

Unique rooms

Public Durbar Hall

Visitors will first see imported French lamp stands in the corner representing Egyptian figurines, just before entering the Durbar Hall there is a life size statue of Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV. This plaster of Paris sculpture is the creation of B.Basavaiah, Palace artist, near him is the cut-out photograph of his favorite servant, Jamedar Peer Bait.

 

King would host major ceremonial gatherings in this hall. Cool marble floor, through colonnades of cusped arches supported by intricate and elaborately painted columns. Row upon row, creating an illusion of infinite corridors. Paintings decorate the walls on the right. There are images of gods, portraits of royal family and scenes form the great epic the Ramayana each painting has its own uniquely carved frame, each one perfectly created to suite its own niche. Large mirrors on the far walls offer multiple reflections of whatever scene is unfolding amidst the never-ending columns, paintings, gods, temples and city skyline.

 

Private Durbar or Ambavilasa Palace

This was used by the king for private audience and is one of the most spectacular rooms. Entry to this opulent hall is through an elegantly carved rosewood doorway inlaid with ivory that opens into a shrine to Ganesha. The central nave of the hall has ornately gilded columns, stained glass ceilings, decorative steel grills, and chandeliers with fine floral motifs, mirrored in the pietra dura mosaic floor embellished with semi-precious stones.

 

Gombe Thotti (Doll’s Pavilion)

Entry to the palace is through the Gombe Thotti or the Doll’s Pavilion, a gallery of traditional dolls from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The pavilion also houses a fine collection of Indian and European sculpture and ceremonial objects like a wooden elephant howdah (frame to carry passengers) decorated with 84 kilograms of gold.

 

Kalyana Mantapa

Octagonal shaped hall where all royal weddings, birthdays and ceremonial functions were celebrated. Dome supported by clusters of pillars are of cast iron. There are 26 paintings which depict Dasara procession. There also four other subjects such as the birthday procession of Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV, Durga Pooja or Ayudha Pooja on the south wall of the Kalyanamantapa, the car festival of Goddess Chamundeshwari and the celebration of Krishna Janmastami on the western corridor. The painting representing Dasara festivities are based on actual photographs and executed during the years between 1934 and 1945.

 

The stained-glass ceiling soars heavenward – a rich tapestry of peacock motifs and floral mandalas held in place by metal beams. The design of the glass and framework was created by the artists of Mysore and manufactured by famous walter McFarlance Saracen Foundry in Glasgow, Scotland. Majestic chandelier, hangs low from the centre of the tall dome, the peacock design is reflected in the mosaic tiles on the floor.

 

Outside columns carvings with scenes from the Mahabharata and the Ramayana the two great Hindu epics of Ancient India. Electricity came to Mysore in 1906. Palace was completed in 1912. There’s been electricity since the first day the royal family moved in.

 

Portrait Gallery

Many valuable paintings as well as the Photographs of the Royal Family are exhibited in the portrait gallery on the southern part of the Kalyana Mantapa. Wadiyar dynasty paintings and photographs are on display. Portrait of Krishnaraja Wadiyar the fourth, was a king with great vision and an extraordinarily generous patron of arts. Also the first Wadiyar ruler to live in this palace. Portrait of black and white image of Jayacharamajra Wadiyar’s wedding to a Jaipur princess. The nuptials took place in the Marriage hall with the bountiful wedding feast lavishly laid out on the tables in the foreground. Painting of Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV just one year old, sits on pram with his two older sisters. The portrait gallery is proud to exhibit two works of the famous Royal Artist Raja Ravivarma dated in 1885.

 

CASKET ROOM

When the Mysore kings visit various parts of the state, their subjects received them with the greatest respect. They often had many requests, these would be formally submitted in small silver and sweet-smelling sandalwood caskets. Additionally they would present the kings with mementoes of their visit in these boxes.

 

Sandalwood is one of the earliest items of trade, and its oil has been used in perfumes for over 4000 years. Sandalwood is believed to be scented by the gods. Its sacred properties mean its traditionally used to carve images of deities and create prayer beads. Seventy per cent of Indian sandalwood comes from the tropical forests of Karnataka and a diminishing resource.

  

Temples inside Mysore Palace Fort

 

Kodi Bharravasvami Temple – dedicated to Shiva in the form of Bhairava derives its name because of its location in the past.

 

Sri Lakshmiramana Swami Temple – Oldest temple in the city. Located towards the western part of the fort, inside the Palace. An inscription found in Cole’s Gardens (present day Bannimantap) registers a Grant for God Lakshmiramana in 1499 AD. According to the annals of the Mysore Royal Family, a half blind Brahim was cured his blindness around the year 1599 at the interposition of Raja Wadiyar. The temple is also important as all the religious ceremonies in connection with coronation of child Raja Krishnaraja Wadiyar III were held in this temple on June 30, 1799.

 

Sri Shweta Varahaswamy Temple - located beside the south gate. It’s constructed in the famous style of the great Hoysala Empire, which controlled most of Karnataka from the tenth until the fourteenth centuries.

 

Sri Trinayaneshvara Swami Temple – Ancient temple which existed even before the time of Raja Wadiyar, located outside the Original Mysore fort, on the bank of Devaraya Sagar (Doddakere). It was during the time of Kanthirava Narasaraja Wadiyar and his successor Dodda Devaraja Wadiyar that the fort was enlarged and the Trinayaneshvara temple came within the fort.

 

Sri Prasanna Krishanswami temple – The Mysore dynasty claims its descent from Yadu Vamsa (Yadu Race) founded by Sri Krishna of Mahabharata. Therefore, Krishnaraja Wadiyar III felt sad that there was no temple dedicated to Krishna. To fulfil this lacuna, he started the construction of Sri Prasanna Krishna Temple in 1825 and according to inscription, it was completed in 1829.

 

Kille Venkatramana Swamy Temple – During the time of Tipu, the Mysore family was still in Srirangapatna. Queen Lakshmammanni, wife of Krishnaraja Wadiyar II was deeply worried about the dynasty and its future. Then lord Venkataramana is said to have appeared in her dream, and directed her that his statue which is in Balamuri should be consecrated in Mysore. By this pious act, her dynasty would get salvation. She therefore, proceeded to Balamuri without the knowledge of the Sultan and brought the image of Venkataramana, consecrated it in the temple, and offered continuous worship. This is said to have helped the family and after the fall of Tippu, the Kingdom was restored to the Wadiyar dynasty.

 

Sri Bhuvaneshwari Temple – located on northern side of the Palace Fort corresponding to the Varahaswamy temple in the south, thus providing a symmetrical structure in the fort complex. Constructed by Sri Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar in the year 1951. One of the important objects in the temple is a copper Surya Mandala which is said to have been transferred from the Palace to this temple by His Highness Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar.

 

Sri Gayatri Temple – located in the south-east corner of the fort directly corresponding to the Trinayaneshara swamy temple constructed by Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar in 1953. Three shrines dedicated to Savithri, Gayathri and Saraswathi.

 

Wadiyar dynasty

The Wadiyar dynasty (also spelt Wadiyar by the British) was an Indian royal dynasty that ruled the Kingdom of Mysore from 1399 to 1947, until the independence of India from British rule and the subsequent unification of Indian dominion and princely states into the Republic of India.

 

The spelling Wodeyar / Wadiyar is found in most records and is used by the royal family members themselves. The spelling by modern transliteration rules from Kannada is Odeyar the word Wadiyar is a surname of a community in South India who are from the Potters community. Now also you can see the six feet Potters wheel, stick, etc., which is fully made of the pure Gold, in the Mysore palace. The word is pronounced to start with a vowel sound and not with the consonant as present in the English spelling. Odeyar in Kannada means the king or the owner.

 

History

The dynasty was established by Vijaya, Vijaya took on the name and ruled Mysore, then a small town, from 1399 CE to 1423 CE. The Wadiyars of Vijaya's dynasty belong to the ArasuWadiyar community of Karnataka, which includes many of the noble clans of the region.

 

The Mysore kingdom was ruled by a succession of Wadiyar rulers for the next couple of centuries. However, the kingdom remained fairly small during this early period and was a part of the Vijayanagara Empire. Later, after the fall of the Vijayanagara Empire in 1565, the Kingdom of Mysore became independent and remained so until 1799. The Kingdom of Mysore came under the British during the reign of King Krishnaraja Wadiyar III (1799-1868). His successors changed the English spelling of their royal name to Wadiyar, and took the title of Bahadur. The last two monarchs also accepted the British decoration G.B.E

 

Expansion

The Vijayanagara Empire disintegrated in 1565. The power vacuum created soon after was utilized by Raja Wadiyar, who ruled Mysore from 1578 to 1617. He expanded the borders of the Mysore kingdom and also shifted the capital from the city of Mysore in 1610 to Srirangapatna, a rare island formed by the river Cauvery , which provided natural protection against military attacks.

 

Subsequent famous rulers of the dynasty include Kanthirava Narasaraja I (ruled 1638-1659) who expanded the frontiers of the Mysore Kingdom to Trichy in Tamil Nadu. The dynasty reached its peak under Chikka Devaraja (ruled 1673-1704), who widely reformed the administration of the empire by dividing it into 18 departments (called Chavadis) and also introduced a coherent system of taxation.

 

Wadiyar Rulers of Mysore

 

Adi Yaduraya (1399–1423)

 

Hiriya Bettada Chamaraja Wadiyar I (1423–1459)

 

Thimma Raja Wadiyar I (1459–1478)

 

Hiriya Chamarajarasa Wadiyar II (1478–1513)

 

Hiriya bettada Chamaraja Wadiyar III (1513–1553)

 

Thimma Raja Wadiyar II (1553–1572)

 

Boala Chamaraja Wadiyar IV (1572–1576)

 

Bettada Chamaraja Wadiyar V (1576–1578)

 

Raja Wadiyar I (1578–1617)

 

Chamarajarasa Wadiyar VI (1617–1637)

 

Raja Wadiyar II (1637–1638)

 

Ranadheera Kanteerava Narasaraja Wadiyar I (1638–1659)

 

Dodda Devaraja Wadiyar (1659–1673)

 

Chikka Devaraja Wadiyar (1613–1704)

 

Kanteerava Majaraja Wadiyar (1704–1714)

 

Dodda Krishnaraja Wadiyar I (1714–1732)

 

Chamaraja Wadiyar VII (1732–1734)

 

(Immadi) Krishnaraja Wadiyar II (1734–1766)

 

Nanaja Raja Wadiyar (1766–1770)

 

Bettada Chamaraja Wadiyar VIII (1770–1776)

 

Khasa Chamaraja Wadiyar IX (1766–1796)

 

(Mummudi) Krishnaraja Wadiyar III (1799–1868)

 

Chamaraja Wadiyar X (1868–1894)

 

Vani Vilas Sannidhana, queen of Chamaraja Wadiyar X, was Regent from 1894–1902.

 

(Nalvadi) Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV (1902–1940)

 

Sri Jaya Chamaraja Wadiyar XI (1940 - 1947)

 

Rajpramukh of Mysore state, (1950–1956)

 

Governor of Mysore state (present-day Karnataka), (1956–1964)

 

Governor of Madras State (present-day Tamil Nadu), (1964–1966)

 

De-recognized as Maharaja of Mysore by the 26Th Amendment to the constitution in 1971. Died on 23-9-1974.

 

Srikanta Datta Narsimharaja Wadiyar, (b-1953, ascended the throne in 1974- though a private affair until 10th December 2013.

 

No successor has been appointed yet .

 

EXIF details - Shutter 1/320, Aperture f/20, ISO 500, Focal Length , 70 mm . Equipment - Nikon D4s , Nikkor 70-200mm 2.8g VR .

 

Reference from www.mysorepalace.gov.in/Mysore_Palace_History.htm

Clothing

Zenith | Miffyhoi Rosca | Phase Dolly Dress | Kustom9 (September 2014)

 

Shoes

Reign | KenadeeCole & Illy Miami | Supernova Heels | Kustom9 (September 2014)

 

Accessories

Atomic | Ivy Graves | Double Scoop | @Past Hello Sunshine (Can also be found right now at the Candy Fair 2014)

LaGyo | Gyorgyna Larnia | Malika Triple Ring

 

Make-Up/Tattoo

N/A

 

Body

Skin: Belleza | Shyla Diggs & Tricky Boucher | Mae | Vintage & Cool Fair 2014

Hair: Atomic Hair | Ivy Graves | Sugar Coated | @Candy Fair 2014

Mesh Head: N/A

Hair Base: N/A

Eyes: Buzzeri | Eleri Catlyn | Celestial Eyes | @Past Kustom9

Lashes: Pulse | Eidolon Aeon | Long Lashes

Nails: Hello Dave | Maia Gasparini | Military Mattes

Hands: Slink | Siddean Munro | AvEnhance Hands Female – Elegant 1

Feet: Slink | Siddean Munro | AvEnhance Feet Female High

Ears: MANDALA | kikunosuke Eel | Stretched Ears

Booty: N/A

Shape: TheScarlettLetter | Scarlett Loxingly | Scarlett | Not for Sale

 

Pose/Location/Decoration

Overlow Poses

Con & floorplan. - Bathtub - Bronze

floorplan. postcard collection / french

Scarlet Creative Autumn Reclaim Frame

Scarlet Creative The Arcade Love Blinds Narrow Closed

Scarlet Creative Autumn Reclaim Lamp

Scarlet Creative Mountain Lodge Side Board

Scarlet Creative Work Life Loft Skybox

Apple Fall Pottery Dining Table

Apple Fall Pottery Dining Chair

Apple Fall Pumpkin Place Setting

Apple Fall Pearl Chandelier

Apple Fall Cherry Voulevants

Apple Fall Poppies / Glazed Vase

Apple Fall Bastide Vanity RARE

 

scarlettloxingly.wordpress.com/2014/10/07/112/

The Mid-Autumn Festival is a harvest festival celebrated by ethnic Chinese and Vietnamese peoples. The festival is held on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese Han calendar and Vietnamese calendar (within 15 days of the autumnal equinox), on the night of the full moon between early September to early October of the Gregorian calendar.

 

Mainland China listed the festival as an "intangible cultural heritage" in 2006 and a public holiday in 2008. It is also a public holiday in Taiwan. Among the Vietnamese, it is considered the second-most important holiday tradition.

 

The Chinese have celebrated the harvest during the autumn full moon since the Shang Dynasty (c. 16th to 10th century BCE). Morris Berkowitz, who studied the Hakka people during the 1960s, theorizes that the harvest celebration originally began with worshiping Mountain Gods after the harvest was completed. The celebration as a festival only started to gain popularity during the early Tang Dynasty (618–907 CE). One legend explains that Emperor Xuanzong of Tang started to hold formal celebrations in his palace after having explored the Moon-Palace. The term mid-autumn (中秋) first appeared in Rites of Zhou, a written collection of rituals of the Western Zhou Dynasty (1046–771 BCE).

 

Empress Dowager Cixi (late 19th century) enjoyed celebrating Mid-Autumn Festival so much that she would spend the period between the thirteenth and seventeenth day of the eighth month staging elaborate rituals.

 

For the Vietnamese, in its most ancient form, the evening commemorated the dragon who brought rain for the crops. Celebrants would observe the moon to divine the future of the people and harvests. Eventually the celebration came to symbolize a reverence for fertility, with prayers given for bountiful harvests, increase in livestock, and human babies. Over time, the prayers for children evolved into a celebration of children. Confucian scholars continued the tradition of gazing at the moon, but to sip wine and improvise poetry and song. By the early twentieth century in Hanoi, the festival had begun to assume its identity as a children's festival.

 

An important part of the festival celebration is moon worship. The ancient Chinese believed in rejuvenation being associated with the moon and water, and connected this concept to the menses of women, calling it "monthly water". The Zhuang people, for example, have an ancient fable saying the sun and moon are a couple and the stars are their children, and when the moon is pregnant, it becomes round, and then becomes crescent after giving birth to a child. These beliefs made it popular among women to worship and give offerings to the moon on this evening. In some areas of China, there are still customs in which "men don't worship the moon and the women don't offer sacrifices to the kitchen gods."

 

Offerings are also made to a more well-known lunar deity, Chang'e, known as the Moon Goddess of Immortality. The myths associated with Chang'e explain the origin of moon worship during this day. One version of the story is as follows, as described in Lihui Yang's Handbook of Chinese Mythology:

 

In the ancient past, there was a hero named [Hou] Yi who was excellent at archery. His wife was Chang'e. One year, the ten suns rose in the sky together, causing great disaster to people. Yi shot down nine of the suns and left only one to provide light. An immortal admired Yi and sent him the elixir of immortality. Yi did not want to leave Chang'e and be immortal without her, so he let Chang'e keep the elixir. But Feng Meng, one of his apprentices, knew this secret. So, on the fifteenth of August in the lunar calendar, when Yi went hunting, Feng Meng broke into Yi's house and forced Chang'e to give the elixir to him. Chang'e refused to do so. Instead, she swallowed it and flew into the sky. Since she loved her husband very much and hoped to live nearby, she chose the moon for her residence. When Yi came back and learned what had happened, he felt so sad that he displayed the fruits and cakes Chang'e liked in the yard and gave sacrifices to his wife. People soon learned about these activities, and since they also were sympathetic to Chang'e they participated in these sacrifices with Yi.

 

Yang describes another version of the tale which provides a different reason for Chang'e ascending to the moon:

 

After the hero Houyi shot down nine of the ten suns, he was pronounced king by the thankful people. However, he soon became a conceited and tyrannical ruler. In order to live long without death, he asked for the elixir from Xiwangmu. But his wife, Chang'e, stole it on the fifteenth of August because she did not want the cruel king to live long and hurt more people. She took the magic potion to prevent her husband from becoming immortal. Houyi was so angry when discovered that Chang'e took the elixir, he shot at his wife as she flew toward the moon, though he missed. Chang'e fled to the moon and became the spirit of the moon. Houyi died soon because he was overcome with great anger. Thereafter, people offer a sacrifice to Chang'e on every lunar fifteenth of August to commemorate Chang'e's action.

  

Modern celebration

 

The festival was a time to enjoy the successful reaping of rice and wheat with food offerings made in honor of the moon. Today, it is still an occasion for outdoor reunions among friends and relatives to eat mooncakes and watch the moon, a symbol of harmony and unity. The festival is celebrated with many cultural or regional customs, among them:

 

Burning incense in reverence to deities including Chang'e.

Performance of dragon and lion dances, which is mainly practiced in southern China and Vietnam.

  

Imperial dishes served on this occasion included nine-jointed lotus roots which symbolize peace, and watermelons cut in the shape of lotus petals which symbolize reunion. Teacups were placed on stone tables in the garden, where the family would pour tea and chat, waiting for the moment when the full moon's reflection appeared in the center of their cups. Owing to the timing of the plant's blossoms, cassia wine is the traditional choice for the "reunion wine" drunk on the occasion. Also, people will celebrate by eating cassia cakes and candy.

 

Food offerings made to deities are placed on an altar set up in the courtyard, including apples, pears, peaches, grapes, pomegranates, melons, oranges, and pomelos. One of the first decorations purchased for the celebration table is a clay statue of the Jade Rabbit. In Chinese folklore, the Jade Rabbit was an animal that lived on the moon and accompanied Chang'e. Offerings of yellow beans and cockscomb flowers were made to the Jade Rabbit.

 

In Vietnam, cakes and fruits are not only consumed, but elaborately prepared as food displays. For example, glutinous rice flour and rice paste are molded into familiar animals. Pomelo sections can be fashioned into unicorns, rabbits, or dogs. Villagers of Xuân La, just south of Hanoi, produce tò he, figurines made from rice paste and colored with natural food dyes. Into the early decades of the twentieth century of Vietnam, daughters of wealthy families would prepare elaborate centerpieces filled with treats for their younger siblings. Well-dressed visitors could visit to observe the daughter's handiwork as an indication of her capabilities as a wife in the future. Eventually the practice of arranging centerpieces became a tradition not just limited to wealthy families

 

from Wikipedia

 

I disliked it but maybe this is your style. I've known some adult American women who absolutely love this kind of thing.

 

But what's with the gravel all over the floor. Does the owner/decorator keep a dirty house?

 

-----------------------

 

In Benton Township west of Potterville, Michigan, on October 19th, 2014, at the "Country Mill" apple orchard and cider mill on the east side of Otto Road, south of East Gresham Highway.

 

-----------------------

 

Library of Congress classification ideas:

NK2115.5.A87 Autumn in interior decoration—Pictorial works.

E161 Autumn—United States—Pictorial works.

NK2715 Chairs—Pictorial works.

SB449 Flower arrangement in interior decoration—Pictorial works.

SB450.67 Flower arrangement, American—Pictorial works.

NK2115.5.C6 Color in interior decoration—Pictorial works.

TS910 Baskets—Pictorial works.

N7668.F69 Foxes in art.

SB354.6.U5 Orchards—United States—Pictorial works.

F574.B408 Benton (Eaton County, Mich. : Township)—Pictorial works.

F572.E2 Eaton County (Mich.)—Pictorial works.

Saint-Petersburg. Nov 2010

 

eng.tzar.ru/museums/palaces/catherine_park/regular/hermitage

 

Pavilions like this with a name taken from the French language were a common feature of regular gardens in the eighteenth century. They were intended to enable the owner of the estate to rest and dine in the company of a select few and were located in the “wild” area of the park. In order to avoid the inhibiting presence of servants, such pavilions were usually fitted with mechanisms that enabled the tables to be raised and lowered.

 

The Hermitage pavilion in the Regular Park (the Catherine Park) at Tsarskoye Selo was originally designed by Mikhail Zemtsov. The laying of the foundations began in the spring of 1744 and was completed by autumn that same year. In 1749, however, the facades of the pavilion that was by that time built were reconstructed in accordance with a new project devised by Rastrelli. The unique signature of Empress Elizabeth’s chief architect is present in the exceptionally complex aspects that the building presents to the viewer when seen from close by.

 

Two years later, in keeping with Rastrelli’s concept, the master stucco-workers Giovanni Battista Giani and G.-F. Partier installed 68 large and small capitals on the columns of the Hermitage and 28 more on the pilasters. The architect also included sculpture in the external decoration of the pavilion: eight statues stood on the pedestals of the balustrade at the base of the octagonal dome, while four others crowned the roofs of the cabinets. The central dome was topped by a sculptural group depicting The Rape of Proserpine. The building was further adorned by sixteen statues placed between the groups of columns on the facades of the cabinets. These stood on pedestals embellished with rocailles and, judging by what can be seen on drawings and engravings, they were all different. Statues of Glory on large pediments supported a magnificent cartouche containing the Empress’s monogram.

In 1753 the stuccowork was covered in gilding and the facades were painted: the white columns and architraves, the golden mouldings and sculpture were strikingly set off by the blue-green “salady” colour of the walls. The roof, originally green, was painted white in 1755 and the statues and garlands adorning it glistened with gold. The decoration of the facades of the Hermitage was completed at the same time as its interior decoration, which was begun in 1748.

 

Placed on a terrace paved with black and white marble slabs, the pavilion was encircled by an elaborately shaped moat with two small bridges. The moat was bordered by a balustrade that was also decorated with statues and vases. The moat and the wild grove were intended to inspire a mood of melancholy solitude, put people in a contemplative frame of mind and inspire recollections. In the words of Christian Hirschfeld, an expert on the theory of park design, “the mysterious gloom and darkness of a spot, deep solitude and solemn silence, the magnificent features of nature will not fail to invest the mind with a certain feeling and oblige it to serious refelction.” The moat, however, was never filled with water, of which there was a constant shortage in Tsarskoye Selo (this fact is borne out by archive documents and archaeological research carried out in 2006) and in 1777 it was filled in on the orders of Catherine II, the new mistress of the residence.

 

The Hermitage pavilion was never reconstructed after the mid-eighteenth century and so its interior decoration has come down to us practically unaltered. The rectangular central hall is connected by four galleries leading diagonally from it to four “cabinets” with square floor-plans. The décor of the Hermitage’s main hall, created by Rastrelli, is particularly interesting. Thanks to the wide windows that also served as doors to the balconies, the hall is transfused with light. Between the windows Rastrelli placed mirrors in carved and gilded frames that merge with the surrounds of the painted dessus-de-portes. Originally the hall contained dining-tables with hoists. The purpose of the hall was indicated by the subject of Giuseppe Valeriani’s ceiling painting – Jupiter and Juno invite the celestials to a table laid and set with luxurious tableware. Valeriani took the subjects for the painted panels above the mirrors in the central hall from Ovid’s Metamorphoses: Bacchus and Ariadne, Apollo Pursuing Daphne, Bacchus Crowning Daphne with a Crown of Stars and The Rape of Europa.

 

The ceiling paintings in the galleries running out to the cabinets were painted by Antonio Peresinotti. Their subjects echoed the bas-reliefs on the facades of the Hermitage and depicted cupids with allegorical attributes of the seasons.

 

The Mid-Autumn Festival is a harvest festival celebrated by ethnic Chinese and Vietnamese peoples. The festival is held on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese Han calendar and Vietnamese calendar (within 15 days of the autumnal equinox), on the night of the full moon between early September to early October of the Gregorian calendar.

 

Mainland China listed the festival as an "intangible cultural heritage" in 2006 and a public holiday in 2008. It is also a public holiday in Taiwan. Among the Vietnamese, it is considered the second-most important holiday tradition.

 

The Chinese have celebrated the harvest during the autumn full moon since the Shang Dynasty (c. 16th to 10th century BCE). Morris Berkowitz, who studied the Hakka people during the 1960s, theorizes that the harvest celebration originally began with worshiping Mountain Gods after the harvest was completed. The celebration as a festival only started to gain popularity during the early Tang Dynasty (618–907 CE). One legend explains that Emperor Xuanzong of Tang started to hold formal celebrations in his palace after having explored the Moon-Palace. The term mid-autumn (中秋) first appeared in Rites of Zhou, a written collection of rituals of the Western Zhou Dynasty (1046–771 BCE).

 

Empress Dowager Cixi (late 19th century) enjoyed celebrating Mid-Autumn Festival so much that she would spend the period between the thirteenth and seventeenth day of the eighth month staging elaborate rituals.

 

For the Vietnamese, in its most ancient form, the evening commemorated the dragon who brought rain for the crops. Celebrants would observe the moon to divine the future of the people and harvests. Eventually the celebration came to symbolize a reverence for fertility, with prayers given for bountiful harvests, increase in livestock, and human babies. Over time, the prayers for children evolved into a celebration of children. Confucian scholars continued the tradition of gazing at the moon, but to sip wine and improvise poetry and song. By the early twentieth century in Hanoi, the festival had begun to assume its identity as a children's festival.

 

An important part of the festival celebration is moon worship. The ancient Chinese believed in rejuvenation being associated with the moon and water, and connected this concept to the menses of women, calling it "monthly water". The Zhuang people, for example, have an ancient fable saying the sun and moon are a couple and the stars are their children, and when the moon is pregnant, it becomes round, and then becomes crescent after giving birth to a child. These beliefs made it popular among women to worship and give offerings to the moon on this evening. In some areas of China, there are still customs in which "men don't worship the moon and the women don't offer sacrifices to the kitchen gods."

 

Offerings are also made to a more well-known lunar deity, Chang'e, known as the Moon Goddess of Immortality. The myths associated with Chang'e explain the origin of moon worship during this day. One version of the story is as follows, as described in Lihui Yang's Handbook of Chinese Mythology:

 

In the ancient past, there was a hero named [Hou] Yi who was excellent at archery. His wife was Chang'e. One year, the ten suns rose in the sky together, causing great disaster to people. Yi shot down nine of the suns and left only one to provide light. An immortal admired Yi and sent him the elixir of immortality. Yi did not want to leave Chang'e and be immortal without her, so he let Chang'e keep the elixir. But Feng Meng, one of his apprentices, knew this secret. So, on the fifteenth of August in the lunar calendar, when Yi went hunting, Feng Meng broke into Yi's house and forced Chang'e to give the elixir to him. Chang'e refused to do so. Instead, she swallowed it and flew into the sky. Since she loved her husband very much and hoped to live nearby, she chose the moon for her residence. When Yi came back and learned what had happened, he felt so sad that he displayed the fruits and cakes Chang'e liked in the yard and gave sacrifices to his wife. People soon learned about these activities, and since they also were sympathetic to Chang'e they participated in these sacrifices with Yi.

 

Yang describes another version of the tale which provides a different reason for Chang'e ascending to the moon:

 

After the hero Houyi shot down nine of the ten suns, he was pronounced king by the thankful people. However, he soon became a conceited and tyrannical ruler. In order to live long without death, he asked for the elixir from Xiwangmu. But his wife, Chang'e, stole it on the fifteenth of August because she did not want the cruel king to live long and hurt more people. She took the magic potion to prevent her husband from becoming immortal. Houyi was so angry when discovered that Chang'e took the elixir, he shot at his wife as she flew toward the moon, though he missed. Chang'e fled to the moon and became the spirit of the moon. Houyi died soon because he was overcome with great anger. Thereafter, people offer a sacrifice to Chang'e on every lunar fifteenth of August to commemorate Chang'e's action.

  

Modern celebration

 

The festival was a time to enjoy the successful reaping of rice and wheat with food offerings made in honor of the moon. Today, it is still an occasion for outdoor reunions among friends and relatives to eat mooncakes and watch the moon, a symbol of harmony and unity. The festival is celebrated with many cultural or regional customs, among them:

 

Burning incense in reverence to deities including Chang'e.

Performance of dragon and lion dances, which is mainly practiced in southern China and Vietnam.

  

Imperial dishes served on this occasion included nine-jointed lotus roots which symbolize peace, and watermelons cut in the shape of lotus petals which symbolize reunion. Teacups were placed on stone tables in the garden, where the family would pour tea and chat, waiting for the moment when the full moon's reflection appeared in the center of their cups. Owing to the timing of the plant's blossoms, cassia wine is the traditional choice for the "reunion wine" drunk on the occasion. Also, people will celebrate by eating cassia cakes and candy.

 

Food offerings made to deities are placed on an altar set up in the courtyard, including apples, pears, peaches, grapes, pomegranates, melons, oranges, and pomelos. One of the first decorations purchased for the celebration table is a clay statue of the Jade Rabbit. In Chinese folklore, the Jade Rabbit was an animal that lived on the moon and accompanied Chang'e. Offerings of yellow beans and cockscomb flowers were made to the Jade Rabbit.

 

In Vietnam, cakes and fruits are not only consumed, but elaborately prepared as food displays. For example, glutinous rice flour and rice paste are molded into familiar animals. Pomelo sections can be fashioned into unicorns, rabbits, or dogs. Villagers of Xuân La, just south of Hanoi, produce tò he, figurines made from rice paste and colored with natural food dyes. Into the early decades of the twentieth century of Vietnam, daughters of wealthy families would prepare elaborate centerpieces filled with treats for their younger siblings. Well-dressed visitors could visit to observe the daughter's handiwork as an indication of her capabilities as a wife in the future. Eventually the practice of arranging centerpieces became a tradition not just limited to wealthy families

 

from Wikipedia

 

The Mid-Autumn Festival is a harvest festival celebrated by ethnic Chinese and Vietnamese peoples. The festival is held on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese Han calendar and Vietnamese calendar (within 15 days of the autumnal equinox), on the night of the full moon between early September to early October of the Gregorian calendar.

 

Mainland China listed the festival as an "intangible cultural heritage" in 2006 and a public holiday in 2008. It is also a public holiday in Taiwan. Among the Vietnamese, it is considered the second-most important holiday tradition.

 

The Chinese have celebrated the harvest during the autumn full moon since the Shang Dynasty (c. 16th to 10th century BCE). Morris Berkowitz, who studied the Hakka people during the 1960s, theorizes that the harvest celebration originally began with worshiping Mountain Gods after the harvest was completed. The celebration as a festival only started to gain popularity during the early Tang Dynasty (618–907 CE). One legend explains that Emperor Xuanzong of Tang started to hold formal celebrations in his palace after having explored the Moon-Palace. The term mid-autumn (中秋) first appeared in Rites of Zhou, a written collection of rituals of the Western Zhou Dynasty (1046–771 BCE).

 

Empress Dowager Cixi (late 19th century) enjoyed celebrating Mid-Autumn Festival so much that she would spend the period between the thirteenth and seventeenth day of the eighth month staging elaborate rituals.

 

For the Vietnamese, in its most ancient form, the evening commemorated the dragon who brought rain for the crops. Celebrants would observe the moon to divine the future of the people and harvests. Eventually the celebration came to symbolize a reverence for fertility, with prayers given for bountiful harvests, increase in livestock, and human babies. Over time, the prayers for children evolved into a celebration of children. Confucian scholars continued the tradition of gazing at the moon, but to sip wine and improvise poetry and song. By the early twentieth century in Hanoi, the festival had begun to assume its identity as a children's festival.

 

An important part of the festival celebration is moon worship. The ancient Chinese believed in rejuvenation being associated with the moon and water, and connected this concept to the menses of women, calling it "monthly water". The Zhuang people, for example, have an ancient fable saying the sun and moon are a couple and the stars are their children, and when the moon is pregnant, it becomes round, and then becomes crescent after giving birth to a child. These beliefs made it popular among women to worship and give offerings to the moon on this evening. In some areas of China, there are still customs in which "men don't worship the moon and the women don't offer sacrifices to the kitchen gods."

 

Offerings are also made to a more well-known lunar deity, Chang'e, known as the Moon Goddess of Immortality. The myths associated with Chang'e explain the origin of moon worship during this day. One version of the story is as follows, as described in Lihui Yang's Handbook of Chinese Mythology:

 

In the ancient past, there was a hero named [Hou] Yi who was excellent at archery. His wife was Chang'e. One year, the ten suns rose in the sky together, causing great disaster to people. Yi shot down nine of the suns and left only one to provide light. An immortal admired Yi and sent him the elixir of immortality. Yi did not want to leave Chang'e and be immortal without her, so he let Chang'e keep the elixir. But Feng Meng, one of his apprentices, knew this secret. So, on the fifteenth of August in the lunar calendar, when Yi went hunting, Feng Meng broke into Yi's house and forced Chang'e to give the elixir to him. Chang'e refused to do so. Instead, she swallowed it and flew into the sky. Since she loved her husband very much and hoped to live nearby, she chose the moon for her residence. When Yi came back and learned what had happened, he felt so sad that he displayed the fruits and cakes Chang'e liked in the yard and gave sacrifices to his wife. People soon learned about these activities, and since they also were sympathetic to Chang'e they participated in these sacrifices with Yi.

 

Yang describes another version of the tale which provides a different reason for Chang'e ascending to the moon:

 

After the hero Houyi shot down nine of the ten suns, he was pronounced king by the thankful people. However, he soon became a conceited and tyrannical ruler. In order to live long without death, he asked for the elixir from Xiwangmu. But his wife, Chang'e, stole it on the fifteenth of August because she did not want the cruel king to live long and hurt more people. She took the magic potion to prevent her husband from becoming immortal. Houyi was so angry when discovered that Chang'e took the elixir, he shot at his wife as she flew toward the moon, though he missed. Chang'e fled to the moon and became the spirit of the moon. Houyi died soon because he was overcome with great anger. Thereafter, people offer a sacrifice to Chang'e on every lunar fifteenth of August to commemorate Chang'e's action.

  

Modern celebration

 

The festival was a time to enjoy the successful reaping of rice and wheat with food offerings made in honor of the moon. Today, it is still an occasion for outdoor reunions among friends and relatives to eat mooncakes and watch the moon, a symbol of harmony and unity. The festival is celebrated with many cultural or regional customs, among them:

 

Burning incense in reverence to deities including Chang'e.

Performance of dragon and lion dances, which is mainly practiced in southern China and Vietnam.

  

Imperial dishes served on this occasion included nine-jointed lotus roots which symbolize peace, and watermelons cut in the shape of lotus petals which symbolize reunion. Teacups were placed on stone tables in the garden, where the family would pour tea and chat, waiting for the moment when the full moon's reflection appeared in the center of their cups. Owing to the timing of the plant's blossoms, cassia wine is the traditional choice for the "reunion wine" drunk on the occasion. Also, people will celebrate by eating cassia cakes and candy.

 

Food offerings made to deities are placed on an altar set up in the courtyard, including apples, pears, peaches, grapes, pomegranates, melons, oranges, and pomelos. One of the first decorations purchased for the celebration table is a clay statue of the Jade Rabbit. In Chinese folklore, the Jade Rabbit was an animal that lived on the moon and accompanied Chang'e. Offerings of yellow beans and cockscomb flowers were made to the Jade Rabbit.

 

In Vietnam, cakes and fruits are not only consumed, but elaborately prepared as food displays. For example, glutinous rice flour and rice paste are molded into familiar animals. Pomelo sections can be fashioned into unicorns, rabbits, or dogs. Villagers of Xuân La, just south of Hanoi, produce tò he, figurines made from rice paste and colored with natural food dyes. Into the early decades of the twentieth century of Vietnam, daughters of wealthy families would prepare elaborate centerpieces filled with treats for their younger siblings. Well-dressed visitors could visit to observe the daughter's handiwork as an indication of her capabilities as a wife in the future. Eventually the practice of arranging centerpieces became a tradition not just limited to wealthy families

 

from Wikipedia

 

The Mid-Autumn Festival is a harvest festival celebrated by ethnic Chinese and Vietnamese peoples. The festival is held on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese Han calendar and Vietnamese calendar (within 15 days of the autumnal equinox), on the night of the full moon between early September to early October of the Gregorian calendar.

 

Mainland China listed the festival as an "intangible cultural heritage" in 2006 and a public holiday in 2008. It is also a public holiday in Taiwan. Among the Vietnamese, it is considered the second-most important holiday tradition.

 

The Chinese have celebrated the harvest during the autumn full moon since the Shang Dynasty (c. 16th to 10th century BCE). Morris Berkowitz, who studied the Hakka people during the 1960s, theorizes that the harvest celebration originally began with worshiping Mountain Gods after the harvest was completed. The celebration as a festival only started to gain popularity during the early Tang Dynasty (618–907 CE). One legend explains that Emperor Xuanzong of Tang started to hold formal celebrations in his palace after having explored the Moon-Palace. The term mid-autumn (中秋) first appeared in Rites of Zhou, a written collection of rituals of the Western Zhou Dynasty (1046–771 BCE).

 

Empress Dowager Cixi (late 19th century) enjoyed celebrating Mid-Autumn Festival so much that she would spend the period between the thirteenth and seventeenth day of the eighth month staging elaborate rituals.

 

For the Vietnamese, in its most ancient form, the evening commemorated the dragon who brought rain for the crops. Celebrants would observe the moon to divine the future of the people and harvests. Eventually the celebration came to symbolize a reverence for fertility, with prayers given for bountiful harvests, increase in livestock, and human babies. Over time, the prayers for children evolved into a celebration of children. Confucian scholars continued the tradition of gazing at the moon, but to sip wine and improvise poetry and song. By the early twentieth century in Hanoi, the festival had begun to assume its identity as a children's festival.

 

An important part of the festival celebration is moon worship. The ancient Chinese believed in rejuvenation being associated with the moon and water, and connected this concept to the menses of women, calling it "monthly water". The Zhuang people, for example, have an ancient fable saying the sun and moon are a couple and the stars are their children, and when the moon is pregnant, it becomes round, and then becomes crescent after giving birth to a child. These beliefs made it popular among women to worship and give offerings to the moon on this evening. In some areas of China, there are still customs in which "men don't worship the moon and the women don't offer sacrifices to the kitchen gods."

 

Offerings are also made to a more well-known lunar deity, Chang'e, known as the Moon Goddess of Immortality. The myths associated with Chang'e explain the origin of moon worship during this day. One version of the story is as follows, as described in Lihui Yang's Handbook of Chinese Mythology:

 

In the ancient past, there was a hero named [Hou] Yi who was excellent at archery. His wife was Chang'e. One year, the ten suns rose in the sky together, causing great disaster to people. Yi shot down nine of the suns and left only one to provide light. An immortal admired Yi and sent him the elixir of immortality. Yi did not want to leave Chang'e and be immortal without her, so he let Chang'e keep the elixir. But Feng Meng, one of his apprentices, knew this secret. So, on the fifteenth of August in the lunar calendar, when Yi went hunting, Feng Meng broke into Yi's house and forced Chang'e to give the elixir to him. Chang'e refused to do so. Instead, she swallowed it and flew into the sky. Since she loved her husband very much and hoped to live nearby, she chose the moon for her residence. When Yi came back and learned what had happened, he felt so sad that he displayed the fruits and cakes Chang'e liked in the yard and gave sacrifices to his wife. People soon learned about these activities, and since they also were sympathetic to Chang'e they participated in these sacrifices with Yi.

 

Yang describes another version of the tale which provides a different reason for Chang'e ascending to the moon:

 

After the hero Houyi shot down nine of the ten suns, he was pronounced king by the thankful people. However, he soon became a conceited and tyrannical ruler. In order to live long without death, he asked for the elixir from Xiwangmu. But his wife, Chang'e, stole it on the fifteenth of August because she did not want the cruel king to live long and hurt more people. She took the magic potion to prevent her husband from becoming immortal. Houyi was so angry when discovered that Chang'e took the elixir, he shot at his wife as she flew toward the moon, though he missed. Chang'e fled to the moon and became the spirit of the moon. Houyi died soon because he was overcome with great anger. Thereafter, people offer a sacrifice to Chang'e on every lunar fifteenth of August to commemorate Chang'e's action.

  

Modern celebration

 

The festival was a time to enjoy the successful reaping of rice and wheat with food offerings made in honor of the moon. Today, it is still an occasion for outdoor reunions among friends and relatives to eat mooncakes and watch the moon, a symbol of harmony and unity. The festival is celebrated with many cultural or regional customs, among them:

 

Burning incense in reverence to deities including Chang'e.

Performance of dragon and lion dances, which is mainly practiced in southern China and Vietnam.

  

Imperial dishes served on this occasion included nine-jointed lotus roots which symbolize peace, and watermelons cut in the shape of lotus petals which symbolize reunion. Teacups were placed on stone tables in the garden, where the family would pour tea and chat, waiting for the moment when the full moon's reflection appeared in the center of their cups. Owing to the timing of the plant's blossoms, cassia wine is the traditional choice for the "reunion wine" drunk on the occasion. Also, people will celebrate by eating cassia cakes and candy.

 

Food offerings made to deities are placed on an altar set up in the courtyard, including apples, pears, peaches, grapes, pomegranates, melons, oranges, and pomelos. One of the first decorations purchased for the celebration table is a clay statue of the Jade Rabbit. In Chinese folklore, the Jade Rabbit was an animal that lived on the moon and accompanied Chang'e. Offerings of yellow beans and cockscomb flowers were made to the Jade Rabbit.

 

In Vietnam, cakes and fruits are not only consumed, but elaborately prepared as food displays. For example, glutinous rice flour and rice paste are molded into familiar animals. Pomelo sections can be fashioned into unicorns, rabbits, or dogs. Villagers of Xuân La, just south of Hanoi, produce tò he, figurines made from rice paste and colored with natural food dyes. Into the early decades of the twentieth century of Vietnam, daughters of wealthy families would prepare elaborate centerpieces filled with treats for their younger siblings. Well-dressed visitors could visit to observe the daughter's handiwork as an indication of her capabilities as a wife in the future. Eventually the practice of arranging centerpieces became a tradition not just limited to wealthy families

 

from Wikipedia

 

The Mid-Autumn Festival is a harvest festival celebrated by ethnic Chinese and Vietnamese peoples. The festival is held on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese Han calendar and Vietnamese calendar (within 15 days of the autumnal equinox), on the night of the full moon between early September to early October of the Gregorian calendar.

 

Mainland China listed the festival as an "intangible cultural heritage" in 2006 and a public holiday in 2008. It is also a public holiday in Taiwan. Among the Vietnamese, it is considered the second-most important holiday tradition.

 

The Chinese have celebrated the harvest during the autumn full moon since the Shang Dynasty (c. 16th to 10th century BCE). Morris Berkowitz, who studied the Hakka people during the 1960s, theorizes that the harvest celebration originally began with worshiping Mountain Gods after the harvest was completed. The celebration as a festival only started to gain popularity during the early Tang Dynasty (618–907 CE). One legend explains that Emperor Xuanzong of Tang started to hold formal celebrations in his palace after having explored the Moon-Palace. The term mid-autumn (中秋) first appeared in Rites of Zhou, a written collection of rituals of the Western Zhou Dynasty (1046–771 BCE).

 

Empress Dowager Cixi (late 19th century) enjoyed celebrating Mid-Autumn Festival so much that she would spend the period between the thirteenth and seventeenth day of the eighth month staging elaborate rituals.

 

For the Vietnamese, in its most ancient form, the evening commemorated the dragon who brought rain for the crops. Celebrants would observe the moon to divine the future of the people and harvests. Eventually the celebration came to symbolize a reverence for fertility, with prayers given for bountiful harvests, increase in livestock, and human babies. Over time, the prayers for children evolved into a celebration of children. Confucian scholars continued the tradition of gazing at the moon, but to sip wine and improvise poetry and song. By the early twentieth century in Hanoi, the festival had begun to assume its identity as a children's festival.

 

An important part of the festival celebration is moon worship. The ancient Chinese believed in rejuvenation being associated with the moon and water, and connected this concept to the menses of women, calling it "monthly water". The Zhuang people, for example, have an ancient fable saying the sun and moon are a couple and the stars are their children, and when the moon is pregnant, it becomes round, and then becomes crescent after giving birth to a child. These beliefs made it popular among women to worship and give offerings to the moon on this evening. In some areas of China, there are still customs in which "men don't worship the moon and the women don't offer sacrifices to the kitchen gods."

 

Offerings are also made to a more well-known lunar deity, Chang'e, known as the Moon Goddess of Immortality. The myths associated with Chang'e explain the origin of moon worship during this day. One version of the story is as follows, as described in Lihui Yang's Handbook of Chinese Mythology:

 

In the ancient past, there was a hero named [Hou] Yi who was excellent at archery. His wife was Chang'e. One year, the ten suns rose in the sky together, causing great disaster to people. Yi shot down nine of the suns and left only one to provide light. An immortal admired Yi and sent him the elixir of immortality. Yi did not want to leave Chang'e and be immortal without her, so he let Chang'e keep the elixir. But Feng Meng, one of his apprentices, knew this secret. So, on the fifteenth of August in the lunar calendar, when Yi went hunting, Feng Meng broke into Yi's house and forced Chang'e to give the elixir to him. Chang'e refused to do so. Instead, she swallowed it and flew into the sky. Since she loved her husband very much and hoped to live nearby, she chose the moon for her residence. When Yi came back and learned what had happened, he felt so sad that he displayed the fruits and cakes Chang'e liked in the yard and gave sacrifices to his wife. People soon learned about these activities, and since they also were sympathetic to Chang'e they participated in these sacrifices with Yi.

 

Yang describes another version of the tale which provides a different reason for Chang'e ascending to the moon:

 

After the hero Houyi shot down nine of the ten suns, he was pronounced king by the thankful people. However, he soon became a conceited and tyrannical ruler. In order to live long without death, he asked for the elixir from Xiwangmu. But his wife, Chang'e, stole it on the fifteenth of August because she did not want the cruel king to live long and hurt more people. She took the magic potion to prevent her husband from becoming immortal. Houyi was so angry when discovered that Chang'e took the elixir, he shot at his wife as she flew toward the moon, though he missed. Chang'e fled to the moon and became the spirit of the moon. Houyi died soon because he was overcome with great anger. Thereafter, people offer a sacrifice to Chang'e on every lunar fifteenth of August to commemorate Chang'e's action.

  

Modern celebration

 

The festival was a time to enjoy the successful reaping of rice and wheat with food offerings made in honor of the moon. Today, it is still an occasion for outdoor reunions among friends and relatives to eat mooncakes and watch the moon, a symbol of harmony and unity. The festival is celebrated with many cultural or regional customs, among them:

 

Burning incense in reverence to deities including Chang'e.

Performance of dragon and lion dances, which is mainly practiced in southern China and Vietnam.

  

Imperial dishes served on this occasion included nine-jointed lotus roots which symbolize peace, and watermelons cut in the shape of lotus petals which symbolize reunion. Teacups were placed on stone tables in the garden, where the family would pour tea and chat, waiting for the moment when the full moon's reflection appeared in the center of their cups. Owing to the timing of the plant's blossoms, cassia wine is the traditional choice for the "reunion wine" drunk on the occasion. Also, people will celebrate by eating cassia cakes and candy.

 

Food offerings made to deities are placed on an altar set up in the courtyard, including apples, pears, peaches, grapes, pomegranates, melons, oranges, and pomelos. One of the first decorations purchased for the celebration table is a clay statue of the Jade Rabbit. In Chinese folklore, the Jade Rabbit was an animal that lived on the moon and accompanied Chang'e. Offerings of yellow beans and cockscomb flowers were made to the Jade Rabbit.

 

In Vietnam, cakes and fruits are not only consumed, but elaborately prepared as food displays. For example, glutinous rice flour and rice paste are molded into familiar animals. Pomelo sections can be fashioned into unicorns, rabbits, or dogs. Villagers of Xuân La, just south of Hanoi, produce tò he, figurines made from rice paste and colored with natural food dyes. Into the early decades of the twentieth century of Vietnam, daughters of wealthy families would prepare elaborate centerpieces filled with treats for their younger siblings. Well-dressed visitors could visit to observe the daughter's handiwork as an indication of her capabilities as a wife in the future. Eventually the practice of arranging centerpieces became a tradition not just limited to wealthy families

 

from Wikipedia

 

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