王昌龄 (公元698 - 公元757)，字少伯，汉族，河东晋阳（今山西太原）人，又一说京兆长安人（今西安）人。盛唐著名边塞诗人。王昌龄早年贫苦，主要依靠农耕维持生活，30岁左右进士及第。初任秘书省校书郎，而后又担任博学宏辞、汜水尉，因事被贬岭南。 开元末返长安，改授江宁丞。被谤谪龙标尉。安史乱起，被刺史闾丘晓所杀。王昌龄与李白、高适、王维、王之涣、岑参等人交往深厚。其诗以七绝见长，尤以登第之前赴西北边塞所作边塞诗最著，有“诗家夫子王江宁”之誉，又被后人誉为“七绝圣手”。王昌龄诗绪密而思清，与高适、王之涣齐名，时谓王江宁。有文集六卷，今编诗四卷。代表作有《从军行七首》《出塞》《闺怨》等。
One more day to Year 2019, a fresh new year is once again upon us. It is the time to be thankful for the blessings of the past year and to take stock of all our achievements. At the same time, Year 2019 is a brand New Year to start afresh, to start strong, and yet another chance to do everything we wanted to do.
We wish you a Happy New Year with the hope that you will have many blessings in the year to come.
Today is the Chinese Dongzhi Festival 冬至. In the Western calendar, the Dongzhi Festival 冬至 falls on around December 21 to December 22 when the night is longest and the day is shortest in the northern hemisphere.
The Dongzhi Festival 冬至 started as early as the Spring and Autumn Period 春秋 ( 771BC - 476BC ). During the reign of the Han Dynasty 汉朝 ( 206 BC – 220AD ) the festival grew in importance. It was even more important during the Tang Dynasty 唐朝 and Song Dynasty 宋朝 when the Emperors officially proscribed it as a day to give offerings to the Deities and Ancestors.
In past imperial eras, the Dongzhi Festival 冬至 was more important, but now it became a day of family gathering for most Chinese Families.
On the day of Dongzhi Festival 冬至 many Chinese Families they would gather together to eat eat a meal of Tangyuan 汤圆, symbolizing family unity and prosperity. Shenist and Taoist Family would also set up altars outside their homes to give offerings to their ancestors and Tangyuan 汤圆 will be part of the offerings.
Tangyuan 汤圆 are specially cooked balls of rice flour that might have a filling of bean paste, peanut powder or meat. Tangyuan 汤圆 is usually pink or white colored and it is often served in a bowl with a sweet soup or broth. In Singapore frozen ready-made Tangyuan 汤圆 is available in the supermarkets, mothers will simply prepare sweet soup with coconut sugar and pandan leaves to boil the frozen Tangyuan 汤圆.
General Yu Dayou 俞大猷 (1503AD – 1579AD) was a Chinese General and Martial Artist best known for countering the Wokou 倭寇 pirates along China's southeastern coast during the reign of the Jiajing Emperor 嘉靖 (1521AD - 1567AD) in the Ming Dynasty 明朝.
In 1555AD, General Yu Dayou led Ming forces to attack the Wokou pirates who were raiding near Zhejiang 浙江 and defeated about 2,000 of them. In the following year, he was promoted to garrison commander of Zhejiang and was ordered to eliminate the Wokou threat. He led Ming forces to attack the Wokou base in Zhoushan in northeastern Zhejiang. In 1562AD, General Yu Dayou was reassigned to serve as the garrison commander of Fujian 福建. In the following year, he joined Qi Jiguang 戚继光 and other Ming generals in attacking the Wokou at Putian 莆田 and successfully seized back the city from the enemy. By 1566AD, most of the Wokou who had terrorised China's southeastern coast had been largely driven away.
General Yu Dayou was known for being an honest and upright official but in his later years he was being framed on false charges and imprisoned by the Ming Court. Although he was saved by Qi Jiguang and Hu Zongxian, he nonetheless felt disappointed with political corruption within the Ming government and died in frustration.
General Yu Dayou was not only a famous Chinese General, he was also a well-known Martial Artist. According to the historical records of Shaolin Temple 少林寺, Shaolin Temple had sent out its best Warrior Monks 武僧 to join forces with the Ming Military to fight against the Wokou pirates and many of its top Staff Pole 棍法 warrior monks had lost their lives in battle. After a visit to the Shaolin Temple in 1561AD, General Yu Dayou offered to help the Shaolin Abbot train a few of his warrior monks into accomplished staff pole practitioners and they in turn could train the other warrior monks.
General Yu Dayou selected two promising young warrior monks under his tutelage, Zong Qing 宗擎 and Pu Cong 普从, for three years in an effort to improve their pole/staff combat ability. Zong Qing and Pu Cong learned well from General Yu Dayou and they also served in his forces. When they returned to the Shaoiln Temple they trained hundreds of Shaolin warrior monks in General Yu Dayou's staff pole combat methods. Hence, today General Yu Dayou's Pole Methods or Yu Family Pole Methods 俞家棍 continued to live on in the training grounds of Shaolin Temple.
Throughout the ages teachers are entrusted with the imparting of morality, knowledge and values to the younger generation. There is the ancient Chinese saying "Yi Ri Wei Shi, Zhong Shen Wei Fu 一日为师，终身为父" which means : Being your teacher for only a day, you should regard him like your father for the rest of your life.” To the Chinese, this type of respect toward one’s teachers has been integral part of Chinese Culture for thousands of years. Today is 31th August 2018, Teachers Day. We wish all Teachers, Instructors, Mentors and Great Sages in the world a Happy Teachers Day !
今天是2018年8月31日，教师节。祝天下的老师，师父，导师 及 圣人教师节快乐！
The 15th day of the 7th month in the Chinese lunar calendar is known in the West as the “Chinese Hungry Ghost Festival” but to the Chinese Mahayana Buddhists 汉传佛教, this day is known as Yu Lan Pen Jie 盂兰盆节 (Ullambana Festival). According Chinese Mahayana Scriptures, Yu Lan Pen Jie 盂兰盆节 had originated from the stories of “Mu Lian Rescues His Mother 目连救母”, the attempts by Mu Lian 目连, a disciple of Buddha, to save his mother from torture in hell as a “Hungry Ghost”.
According to the Scriptures, Mu Lian 目连 after gaining spiritual powers wanted to save his parents from their bad karma so as to repay their kindness. He searched with his heavenly eye power and found his mother fallen into the realm of hungry ghosts, starved to skin and bone, unable to take any food or drink. Mu Lian immediately filled a basin with rice and send it to his mother using his powers. To his surprise, as an effect of her evil karma, the food turned into ashes even before reaching her mouth. Out of desperation Mu Lian begged Buddha to help him rescue his mother.
Buddha told Mu Lian 目连 that due to his mother’s heavy karma Mu Lian alone was not enough to save her. Mu Lian was then instructed by Buddha to offer food and gifts to monks and nuns at the time of their return from the summer retreat on the 15th day of the 7th lunar month and do dedication of his merits to his mother. With the strengths of all the Sangha and the merit and virtue from such offering, he could then save his parents of the current life and seven lives past, and relatives from suffering.
Mu Lian 目连 followed Buddha’s instructions and was successful rescuing his mother from suffering as a hungry ghost. Today the same ritual that Buddha instructed Mu Lian to do can be seen carried out in Chinese Mahayana Temples, whereby on the 15th day of the 7th lunar month a large variety of offerings are made to the Buddha and Sangha in aid of those suffering in all realms and as an act of filial piety for the ancestors. On this day many Buddhists and Shenists will go Chinese Mahayana temples to set up ancestral tablets, chant scriptures together with the monks and dedicate the merits to their ancestors, families and all beings.
* The Chinese word Yu Lan Pen Jie 盂兰盆节 had derived from the the Sanskrit word Ullambana. Ullambana means "deliverance from suffering," and specifically refers to the salvation of anguished souls in hell.
* Historical records show that Emperor Liang Wu Di 梁武帝 (464AD-549AD) of China’s Northern and Southern Dynasties Era 南北朝 was the first to hold the Yu Lan Pen Jie 盂兰盆节 (Ullambana Festival) ritual according to the Chinese Mahayana Scriptures.
* The coming Yu Lan Pen Jie 盂兰盆节 (Ullambana Festival) falls on 25th Aug 2018.
Su Shi 苏轼 (1037AD – 1101AD), also known as Su Dong Po 苏东坡, was a Chinese writer, poet, painter, calligrapher, pharmacologist, gastronome, and a statesman of China's Song Dynasty 宋朝. A major personality of the Song era, Su Dong Po 苏东坡 was an important figure in Song Dynasty politics, aligning himself with Sima Guang 司马光 and others, against the New Policy party led by Wang Anshi. Su Dong Po once wrote a poem criticizing Wang Anshi's reforms, especially the government monopoly imposed on the salt industry and Su was exiled for political crimes. After a long period of political exile, Su received a pardon in 1100AD and was posted to Chengdu. However, he died in Changzhou, Jiangsu province while he was en route to his new assignment in 1101AD. After his death Su gained even greater popularity, as people sought to collect his calligraphy, paintings depicting him, stone inscriptions marking his visit to numerous places, and built shrines in his honor.
Su Dong Po's poetry has a long history of popularity and influence in China, Japan, and other areas in the near vicinity and is well known in the English-speaking parts of the world through the translations by Arthur Waley, among others. In terms of the arts, Su Dong Po has some claim to being "the pre-eminent personality of the eleventh century."
Singapore Martial Arts & Chinese Culture Blog
In this blog we will frequently post news, articles and videos regarding Chinese Martial Arts / Cultural / Interesting Topics from all corners of the world.
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