The Tiananmen

Tiananmen was the front entrance of the Im-perial City of the Ming and Qing Dynasties. In the Ming Dynasty. it was first known as Chengtianmen, meaning “Monarchical Power Coming from Heaven” to rule the country.tiananmen-1Later renamed “Tiananmen”, it was renovated repeatedly. Also called the “National Gate”, it was one from which the emperor came in and out when be got married, personally went on an ex-pedition, worshipped heaven at the Temple of Heaven, attended farming ceremonies at Xiannongtan. On the grand occasions when the emperor was enthroned and the empress set up, the ceremonies to issue imperial edict were conducted at Tianan-men. First, the im-perial edict was placed in a tray, held by the Minister of Rites from the Hall of Supreme Harmony through the Gate of Supreme Harmony. tiananmen2Then,the tray was carried in an imperial kiosk onto the Tiananmen rostrum, right in the centre of which an official read the edict. After that,a wooden phoenix with the edict in her mouth, descended slowly from the rostrum. Princes,dukes,ministers, cholars and gen-tlemen were all ears on their knees in the square. An offical from the Ministry of Rites took over the and sent it to the Ministry,where the edict,transcribed on yellow papers, was released to country. This is what is known as “Golden Phoenix Promulgating Imperial Edict”.

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