Life in China 2016: A Picture A Day, October 11 – Moon gates are very old elements used in Chinese architecture and gardens. They can be indoor or outdoor and serve as a connection or transition between two places. Sometimes you actually have to step over a threshold, which adds even more emphasis to the concept of entering a new place. The full moon is “worshipped” in China, and considered a symbol of happiness. The moon gate represents the full moon rising and is therefore very inviting for people to pass through. Today we visited the Lingnan Museum of Fine Art and Keyuan Park and this moon gate was in a garden area between the two. We had planned to visit Keyuan Garden, a very well-known garden in Guangdong Province, but it was closed today :-( We will have to go back! I’m sure they have more moon gates in the garden!
Life in China: A Picture a Day, 2016, January 8 - In China (at least in the areas we have lived), housing complexes are called “yuan” or “gardens.” Along with the housing, most incorporate the four important elements of a Chinese Garden: plants, water, rocks, and some type of architecture. This picture is the small lake near the building we live in. It is situated in the middle of a group of tall buildings, but is a very peaceful place to go. The small building on the right actually sits in the middle of lake, reached by a wooden boardwalk at the back side. There are all kinds of plants and rocks around the edge of the lake, right now there are beautiful yellow irises blooming.