Which Country Is Called "celestial" And Why

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Which Country Is Called "celestial" And Why
Which Country Is Called "celestial" And Why
Video: Which Country Is Called "celestial" And Why
Video: ETERNALS: Celestials Origins EXPLAINED! 2023, February

The veneration of the sky and the heavenly bodies is the foundation of many ancient beliefs and cultural traditions. The sky, as the bearer of divine light and purity of thoughts, was contrasted with the earth with its troubles, diseases and wars. Ancient China was no exception, in which the Cult of Heaven became the cornerstone of religion and statehood.

Temple of Heaven in Beijing
Temple of Heaven in Beijing

A country covered by the sky

In many ways, the definition of China as a Celestial country came from its location. Ancient China was isolated from the rest of the world by natural barriers - mountains in the west, seas in the east and southeast. And only from the north was the land opened to countless hordes of nomads who constantly tormented the civilian population.

Gradually, the people were convinced that the earth is a huge square, covered with a celestial disk. But the corners of the square go beyond the boundaries of the firmament, and therefore these lands are inhabited by evil people who do not know the mercy of the gods. The earth, over which the heavenly disk was visible, and began to be called the Celestial Empire (Tien Xia) - chosen and protected by the gods.

Since the Celestial Country was located in the very middle of the square, its other name was the Middle State (Zhong Guo).

Son of Heaven

According to the religious beliefs of China, the ruler of the country was the representative of heaven on earth. To emphasize the divine origin of power, the Chinese emperor was called the Son of Heaven. Since the sky transferred its powers of power to only one person, then the whole of the Celestial Empire obeyed him. The ruler ruled not only the land, but also time - in the form of a calendar and chronology.

The center of the world was at the court of the Chinese emperor, and from it, like from a stone thrown into the water, circles diverged - the servants of the emperor, common people, vassal principalities and, finally, in the corners of the world - barbarians. All the barbarian rulers of the outlying lands were considered nothing more than vassals of the Chinese emperor.

As close to the gods as possible

The main religious buildings of Ancient China emphasized the emperor's proximity to the firmament. The palace of the ruler in Beijing, which was called the Forbidden City, consisted of 9999 rooms, which was exactly one less than in the palace of the God of Heaven.

The same age as the Forbidden City - the majestic Temple of Heaven is still the main shrine of the Chinese people. Here, at a particularly difficult time for the country, the emperor could retire to confer with the gods. Such ceremonies lasted two weeks and were accompanied by magnificent processions of up to a hundred people, horses and war elephants. In the Temple of Heaven, coronations of emperors took place until the 20th century.

During the time of its vassal dependence on China, Japan adopted from the Chinese culture the chosenness of God as the supreme ruler. In the Japanese state, the emperor began to be called the Son of the Sun, since by that time the name "Land of the Rising Sun" was fixed for the small island country.

In the modern People's Republic of China, the term "Celestial Empire" means the whole world, but in Russia it is still associated only with China.

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