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China, Tianzi Hotel

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An hour east of Beijing on the 930 bus, you’ll find the most bizarre guesthouse, The Tianzi Hotel (天子大酒店).

Fu, Lu, and Shou are three "gods" that are also called the "Three Stars." Separately, they may be called Fu Xing, Lu Xing, and Shou Xing, with "Xing" meaning "star." The three gods -- legendary stars of blessings, prosperity, and longevity -- have been popular among people for centuries, which show the traditional culture of the Chinese people who long for happiness, prosperity, and longevity.
The earliest record of their worship dates to the Imperial family of the Ming dynasty. Although their grouping is dated to this period, the three stars have been mentioned much earlier. The three stars are worshipped in Taoist temples and shrines.
They also appear in sculptures, paintings and art work especially on gifts or items used on auspicious occasions such as birthdays, weddings and business openings. Sometimes, their respective characters are used as a decoration as well in home decorations and even Chinese pastries.

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China, Tianzi Hotel

  1. 1. An hour east of Beijing on the 930 bus, you’ll find the most bizarre guesthouse, The Tianzi Hotel ( 天子大酒店 ). Well, if you thought it is a statue then you are wrong! The Tianzi Hotel is a ten-story high representation of Fu Lu Shou (good fortune, prosperity and longevity) that apparently holds the Guinness World Record for the “biggest image building”.
  2. 2. Shou, the most venerable, his name means ‘Star of Long Life’. He is old and bald, and always carries a Golden Peach of Immortality from XI-WANGMU’s Holy Peach Garden. These are found only in Heaven and ripen once every three thousand years
  3. 3. The peach in the Shou's left hand represents immortality - but if you look a little bit closer you'll see that it has two little windows - because it's actually a suite within the hotel
  4. 4. The Shou star is α Carinae (Canopus), the star of the South Pole in Chinese astronomy, and is believed to control the life spans of mortals. According to legend, he was carried in his mother's womb for ten years before being born, and was already an old man when delivered. He is recognized by his high, domed forehead and the peach which he carries as a symbol of immortality. The God of Longevity is usually shown smiling and friendly, and he may sometimes be carrying a gourd filled with Elixir of Life.
  5. 5. Located in Hebei province Tianzi Garden Hotel - also known as The Emperor Hotel and Son of Heaven Hotel.  Built in 2000, the hotel has ten stories and stands at a height of 41.6m. 
  6. 6. The Lu star is Ursa Majoris, or, in traditional Chinese astronomy, the sixth star in the Wenchang cluster, and like the Fu star came to be personified. The Lu star is believed to be Zhang Xian who lived during the Later Shu dynasty.
  7. 7. The word lu specifically refers to the salary of a government official. As such, the Lu star is the star of prosperity, rank, and influence.
  8. 8. The Lu star was also worshipped separately from the other two as the deity dictating one's success in the Imperial Examinations, and therefore success in the imperial bureaucracy. The Lu star is usually depicted in the dress of a mandarin. The Lu star is usually depicted in the dress of a mandarin.
  9. 9. The Confucian system of study followed by examination and placement holds sway in all Chinese-based cultures to this day, including Japan. It was certainly seen as a key to the path of prosperity.
  10. 10. Lu Xing was said to be the first star of the Big Dipper, an auspicious star blessing ancient intellectuals with a position in the civil service. In the Song Dynasty (960-1279), Lu Xing became another name for Scholar Star
  11. 11. The Fu star refers to the planet Jupiter. In traditional astrology, the planet Jupiter was believed to be auspicious. Alternatively, according to Taoist legend in Ming Dynasty, the Fu Star is associated with Yang Cheng, a governor of Daozhou in Western Han (206 BC - 24 AD).
  12. 12. Yang Cheng risked his life by writing a memorial to the emperor to save the people from presenting dwarf slaves as the special tribute to the imperial court. After his death, the people built a temple to commemorate him, and over time he came to be considered the personification of good fortune.
  13. 13. Fu is generally depicted in scholar's dress, holding a scroll, on which is sometimes written the character "Fu". He may also be seen holding a child, or surrounded by children.
  14. 14. Fu, Lu and Shou are deities which symbolize happiness, wealth and longevity. They are represented and depictured together since they provide symbolism as a unity and they enhance each one of their powers by this union.
  15. 15. Almost every folk (non-Buddhist and not specifically Taoist) temple that has a representation of the Fu Lu Shou somewhere
  16. 16. Singapore
  17. 17. Sound: The Last Emperor - R.Sakamoto & D.Byrne Text and pictures: Internet Copyright: All the images belong to their authors Presentation: Sanda Foişoreanu https://plus.google.com/+SandaMichaela 2015

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