Pinyin English

Decorative Designs in Chinese Art 中国文物的纹饰

Fire Design 火纹
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Buddhist 佛教

Buddhist temples are filled with decorative designs, both on the architectural structures and on wooden artifacts inside the halls. If these artifacts are used in ceremonies they are usually referred to as Dharma instruments 法器. The Dharma Wheel 法轮 from the Sanskrit word Dharmacakra represents the teachings of the Buddha. There are usually eight spokes representing the Noble Eightfold Path 八正道.

Dharma Wheel
普陀山大乘
Dharma Wheel
Dacheng Temple, Mount Putuo

A Reclining Buddha 卧佛, as shown below, symbolizes the Buddha entering Nirvana 涅盘.

Reclining Buddha
马来西亚
Reclining Buddha
Malaysia

A wooden fish 木鱼 is a percussion instrument used in Buddhism. A fish, with eyes always open, symbolizes wakefulness. The wooden fish outside the food hall at Fayu Temple, Mount Putuo, shown below, is the largest one that I ever seen. This type of wooden fish is struck to let people know that it is dinner time.

Wooden fish
普陀山法雨寺
Wooden fish
Fayuy Temple, Mount Putuo
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