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Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony Significance of Chinese Themes
Fou ( 缶 ) Drums - the ancient Chinese container for wine In the Qin Dynasty (200 BC), people start to hit the Fou to express welcome to friends, especially for friends from far away. ( " 有朋自远方来，不亦乐乎？ " "Friends coming from far away, isn't it happy enough?" ) Drums were used in Xia Dynasty to imitate sound of thunder. There were 2008 drummers in the ceremony .
Invention of Paper AD 105 is often cited as the year in which papermaking was invented. In that year, historical records show that the invention of paper was reported to the Chinese Emperor by Ts'ai Lun, an official of the Imperial Court. Recent archaeological investigations, however, place the actual invention of papermaking some 200 years earlier. Ancient paper pieces from the Xuanquanzhi ruins of Dunhuang in China's northwest Gansu province apparently were made during the period of Emperor Wu who reigned between 140 BC and 86 BC.
Invention of Gunpowder - fireworks Many historical materials indicate that gunpowder first appeared before the Tang Dynasty (618-907). From 300 to 650AD several recipes were written about inflammable mixtures. Some historians date the invention of gunpowder at 850AD when a Taoist book warned of three specific elixir formulas as too dangerous to experiment.
Invention of Silk -> Silk Road About 2700-2650 B.C.E., the Chinese began making silk. According to Chinese tradition, the part-legendary emperor, Huang Di (alternately Wu-di or Huang Ti) invented the methods of raising silk worms and spinning silk thread. But the same tradition credits not Huang Di, but his wife Lei-tzu, with discovering silk-making itself, and also the weaving of silk thread into fabric.
Corbel System: T ou-Kung See Joseph Needham’s Science and Civilization in China: Building technology. Interlocking bracketing system to support corners of building without need for nails.
Admiral Zheng He (Ming Dynasty) (1371-1433 AD) Almost a century before Christopher Columbus's arrival in the Americas and Vasco da Gama's in India. All the ships of Columbus and da Gama combined could have been stored on a single deck of a single vessel in the fleet that set sail under Zheng He. He led seven great western maritime expeditions, traversing the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean into the Persian Gulf and Red Sea, and reaching as far west as the east coast of Africa.
Invention of Compass The earliest reference to a specific magnetic direction finder device is recorded in a Song Dynasty book dated to 1040-44. Some controversies. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compass
Confucius - Analects Recited: “Within the Four Seas, all men are brothers”.
Guqin (Father of Chinese Music Instrument) Not to be confused with guzheng which has movable bridges. Legend has it that the qin, the most revered of all Chinese musical instruments, has a history of about 5,000 years. This legend states that the legendary figures of China's pre-history — Fuxi , Shennong and Huang Di , the " Yellow Emperor " — were involved in its creation.
Invention of Movable Print Blocks Pi Sheng, during the Ch'ing-li period, Sung (1041-1048), invented the proto-type of movable print blocks. 300 yrs before Gutenberg.