Introduction of 2010 China World Expo Pavilions VI - Switzerland Pavilion

Switzerland Pavilion at 2010 Shanghai World Expo - Rural and Urban Interaction

Theme: Rural and Urban Interaction

Curtain of Woven Aluminium Elements

National Pavilion Day:
August 12

Pavilion Area:
around 4,000 square meters

Within Zone C of the Expo site

Pavilion Features

A combination of technological insight and beautiful dream - Switzerland Pavilion best shows the characteristics of modern Switzerland, including the pursuit of excellence, innovation and high-quality life, as well as concepts of future facing, forward looking and sustainable development.

The most distinguished feature of the Switzerland Pavilion is the chair lift ride. The jouney takes about 10 minutes. The chair lift will take people up and out to the roof garden from the inside pavilion. The chairs are sheltered to ensure operation under the raining weather.

Highlight 1: Interactive and Intelligent Facade

The interactive, intelligent facade enveloping the pavilion is a curtain of woven aluminium elements under which visitors pass to access the urban area on the ground floor of the building. LED lights comprised of an energy source, a storage unit and a consuming unit are incorporated into the facade.

The energy produced is made visible in the form of flashes that are triggered by the pavilion surroundings, such as the sun or flashes made by visitor cameras. Thanks to the storage of energy in each individual cell, the facade is also active at night, when the cells will trigger each other.

Highlight 2: Use of Chinese Philosophy

The design concept is visible in a mix of many contradictory elements. The Chinese Philosophy of "Yin" and "Yang" is well reflected in the entire building, to achieve an ingenious combination of high-tech and nature.

Highlight 3: IMAX Film "The Alps"

At the top end of the ramp of the exhibition area, visitors can see a 10-meter-high projection screen in the atrium. The IMAX film "The Alps," showcasing magnificent Swiss mountain scenery, will be projected.

Previous series of 2010 World Expo: Spain Pavilion

Next series of 2010 World Expo: USA Pavilion

* Original address of this China gift post: China Gift and Fine Arts & Crafts in China


The Dragon Boat Festival in China is Coming!

The Dragon Boat Festival, officially falling on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month, also known as Double Fifth Day, is one of important traditional Chinese festivals, the other two being the Mid-Autumn Festival and Chinese New Year.

Now as the Dragon Boat Festival in China is coming soon, which will fall on 17, June this year, so maybe you want to know some interesting things about this tradtional Chinese festival.

While many stories regarding its origin abound, the most popular and widely accepted version regards Qu Yuan, a minister during the Warring States Period (475 - 221 BC)

Legend of the Dragon Boat Festival's Origin

At the end of the Zhou Dynasty, the area we now know as China had fallen into a state of fragmentation and conflict. While the Zhou dynasty had ruled for several centuries, several other states, originally feudal domains, tried to carve out their own kingdoms. The state of Qin would eventually emerge the victor and unify all of China under one rule for the first time in history.

Qu Yuan served as minister to the Zhou Emperor. A wise and articulate man, he was loved by the common people. He did much to fight against the rampant corruption that plagued the court-- thereby earning the envy and fear of other officials. Therefore, when he urged the emperor to avoid conflict with the Qin Kingdom, the officials pressured the Emperor to have him removed from service. In exile, he traveled, taught and wrote for several years. Hearing that the Zhou had been defeated by the Qin, he fell into despair and threw himself into the Milou River. His last poem reads:

Many a heavy sigh I have in my despair, grieving that I was born in such an unlucky time;
I yoked a team of jade dragons to a phoenix chariot;
And waited for the wind to come, to sour up on my journey.

As he was so loved by the people, fishermen rushed out in long boats, beating drums to scare the fish away, and throwing glutinous rice dumplings (namely 'zong zi' in Chinese) into the water to feed braver fish so that they would not eat Qu Yuan's body.

The Modern Dragon Boat Festival in China

Starting from that time to this day, people commemorate Qu Yuan through Dragon Boat Races, eating zong zi, and several other activities, on the anniversary of his death: the fifth day of the fifth lunar month.

Dragon Boat races are the most exciting part of the festival, drawing crowds of spectators. Dragon Boats are generally brightly painted and decorated canoes. Ranging anywhere from 40 to 100 feet in length, their heads are shaped like open-mouthed dragons, while the sterns end with a scaly tail. Depending on the length, up to 80 rowers can power the boat. A drummer and flag-catcher stand at the front of the boat. Before a dragon boat enters competition, it must be "brought to life" by painting the eyes in a sacred ceremony. Races can have any number of boats competing, with the winner being the first team to grab a flag at the end of the course. Annual races take place all over China, Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan, and other overseas Chinese communities.

Tzung Tzu / Zong Zi (Glutinous Rice Dumpling)

The traditional food for the Dragon Boat Festival, Tzung Tzu (in Chinese 'Zong zi') is a glutinous rice ball, with a filling, wrapped in corn leaves, so it also known as glutinous rice dumpling. The fillings can be egg, beans, dates, fruits, sweet potato, walnuts, mushrooms, meat, or a combination of them. They are generally steamed.

Talisman and Charms

Another aspect of the
Dragon Boat Festival is the timing: at the beginning of summer, when diseases are likely to strike, people also wear talisman to fend off evil spirits. They may hang the picture of Zhong Kui (a Chinese deity supposed to be a chaser of demons), guardian against evil spirits, on the door of their homes, as well.

Adults may drink realgar wine ('Xiong Huang Jiu' in Chinese), and children carry fragrant silk pouches, all of which can prevent evil. It is said that if you can balance a raw egg on its end at exactly noon on Double Fifth Day, the rest of the year will be lucky.

Last, wish all my Chinese friends in home or at abroad
Happy Dragon Boat Festival!

* Original address of this China gift post: China Gift and Fine Arts & Crafts in China


World Expo and Chinese Culture – Snuff Bottle from Qing Dynasty

Snuff bottle has been an exotic goods, it was taken to China by Italian missionary during the Ming Dynasty. However, after face-lift via Chinese traditional art, later with the production and painting technologies become more and more sophisticated increasingly, snuff bottle become a symbol of identity and taste in the socitey. Both at the London Expo held in 1862 and Panama Expo held in 1915, Chinese snuff bottles won special medals.

Original snuff bottles from the Qing period are a desirable target for serious collectors and museums. A good bottle has an extra quality over and above its exquisite beauty and value: that is touch. Snuff bottles were made to be held and so, as a rule, they have a wonderful tactile quality.

Snuff bottles were made out of many different materials including porcelain, jade, ivory, wood, tortoiseshell, metal and ceramic, though probably the most commonly used material was glass.

The snuff bottle winning prizes at World Expo is an inside-painted snuff bottle. The so-called inside-painting, namely use a specific fine brush, painted exquisite picture inside the snuff bottle by hand.

The class of bottle that arouses most interest is that known as inside painted. These are glass bottles which have pictures and often calligraphy painted on the inside surface of the glass.These delightful scenes are only an inch or two high and are painted while manipulating the brush through the neck of the bottle.

There still has production of inside-painted snuff bottles today, as a pure artwork, snuff bottles had been wiped off its original practical value. While the workmanship of inside hand painting has passed on from generation to generation, and become an essence of traditional Chinese art.

* Original address of this China gift post: China Gift and Fine Arts & Crafts in China


Introduction of 2010 China World Expo Pavilions V - Spain Pavilion

Spain Pavilion at 2010 Shanghai World Expo - The Infinite City

Theme: From the City of Our Parents to the City of Our Children

National Pavilion Day: August 30

Pavilion Area: Around 6,000 Square Meters

Location: Within Zone C of the Expo Site

Pavilion Features:

The Spain Pavilion is designed to be a hand-weaved wicker basket structure supported by the steel framework inside. "The Basket," as some have dubbed the pavilion, is "dressed" in more than 8,000 wicker panels in brown, beige, and black. Wicker weaving is a tradition in both Spain and China and the pavilion is like a bridge connecting the two nations. The panels were handmade by craftsmen in Shandong Province, each one unique in design.

The pavilion contains three exhibition halls which will take visitors through the time and space of the development of the cities in Spain with the theme of "From the City of Our Parents to the City of Our Children." The three displays are created by famous Spanish film makers from three decades.

Highlight 1: Chinese Calligraphy

The design is so specific because the black panels form the shapes of Chinese characters - sun and moon, for instance. It adds more Chinese culture flavor to the pavilion and make the pavilion more artistic.

Highlight 2: Cultural Events

Cultural Events Performance buffs and gourmets will be delighted by the pavilion, where they can enjoy authentic flamenco dancing and taste Spanish delicacies. The Spain Pavilion will be turned into a gastronomic cabaret that offers a feast to visitors every night by serving authentic delicacies and sizzling shows. The Spanish cultural events include soap bubbles, flamenco dancing, Latin and Spanish music. The daily show will be staged twice, at 6pm and 8pm, in the pavilion's amphitheatre.

Previous series of 2010 World Expo: Hong Kong Pavilion
Next series of 2010 World Expo:

* Original address of this China gift post: China Gift and Fine Arts & Crafts in China