In China, you can find a strange phenomenon at the gate of many tourist attractions, government agencies and banks, that is, the stone lion or the copper lion at the gate. In your opinion, this is just the function of decoration, but it contains rich Chinese culture. As the Chinese adage goes, the lion guards the gate and the tiger sits in the middle hall.
The lion guards the gate
Why a lion?
In history, there was no lion in China. Until the Han Dynasty, when Emperor Wu of Han Dynasty sent Zhang Qian to the western regions, it opened up the relationship between China and the western regions. At that time, the lion was able to enter China. There is a legend of kylin in Chinese mythology. When two lions were sent to Luoyang City from the western regions by envoys, they immediately caused a huge sensation in the city. That's when people saw the lion, they thought it was similar to the kylin in mythology, so they regarded the lion as a auspicious beast. In Buddhism, the lion is the Dharma protector. With the introduction of Buddhism into China, the status of the lion will naturally be sought after. At the same time, the lion is the king of all animals. It is unstoppable and powerful. It can not only avoid evil spirits, but also bring auspicious spirit and relieve many evil spirits.
The origin of stone lion(copper lion) display?
Most of the residents in the capital of Tang Dynasty lived in the "Fang", which was a residential area with walls and doors for fire prevention and anti-theft defined by the government. A pair of large stones are sandwiched on the plinth of each square column to prevent wind and earthquake. Craftsmen carved lions, unicorns, sea animals and other animals on the big stones, which are beautiful and auspicious. This is the prototype of using stone lions and other auspicious animals to guard the gate. Since the Song and Yuan Dynasties, Fang has exited the stage of history. In order to show their own momentum, some wealthy families simplified the original style of the gate and transformed it into a gate house. They carved the auspicious animals such as stone lions on the pillar stones, just like the pillar stones used in the original gate. This style has been kept and became habit.
The moral of the lion?
It's a folk custom that lion is a god beast. It also has the function of avoiding evil spirits, and the one lion's mouth is open and another closed , The two represent the meaning of gathering wealth and guarding wealth. Two lions, a male lion and a female lion, The male lion's foot on the ball represents power and unity, represents the foot around the world, and is a symbol of power,At the foot of the lioness, there is a little lion, which means that be a motherly model of the nation and represents the continuity of her offspring. In ancient times, stone lions were used in palaces, Royal offices, government offices and gatekeepers, which showed the power and dignity of the master, as well as the function of guarding the house and avoiding evil spirits. For example, two pairs of stone lions guarding the gate of the Imperial City in front of the Tian'anmen Gate in Beijing reflected the inviolability of the imperial power. At present, lions are still placed in front of Chinese government compounds, banks and many government departments. In the folk, it is said that stone lion has the function of predicting flood disaster. When encountering natural disasters such as flood or land sinking, stone lion's eyes will turn red or bleed. This is a sign that disaster is coming, and people can take emergency shelter.