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Eight Trigrams -Zhu Ge Liang

| Articles of Ancient China | September 14, 2010

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The Bagua (Eight Trigrams) Village used to be called Gaolong. A descendent of the 26th generation of Zhuge Liang moved to the place during the mid-Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368). They worship Gui, the father of Zhuge Liang, as the original ancestor. The village now boasts of more than 5,000 people with more than half being direct descendents of the Zhuge family. It is the biggest concentration of the offspring of Zhuge Liang in China.

Its mystery lies in the formation of the village, as mysterious as the wise Shu prime minister himself. If you look at it from a high mountain, you see the villages hemmed in by eight hills that are mysteriously as connected and disconnected as in the Eight Trigrams that were used in divination in ancient times. They were eight combinations of three lines, all solid, all broken, or a combination of solid and broken lines, joined in pairs to form 64 hexagrams. The village itself was built in the design of the Eight Trigrams too. The center of the village is a lake, called the Bell Lake divided in half by yin, the water, and yang, the dry bed land, from which radiates eight lanes flanked with homes. The eight lanes carve out the village into eight blocks as in the Eight Trigrams to the letter. The lanes are mysteriously connected and disconnected, too.

The more than 200 houses of the Ming and Qing dynasties painted or carved with ancient folk tales or Eight Trigrams, through all those 600 years of wear and tear, still retain their beauty. There are 18 halls that are of cultural significance and two ancient gardens. It is now on the nation’s first class protection list. The village has a memorial hall in memory of the ancestral prime minister, which was built during the reign of Emperor Wanli of the Ming Dynasty. The hall that stands on a one meter high raised platform covers nearly 1,400 square meters in a structure with three courtyards and compounds. In the middle courtyard there stand four huge trees, a pine, a cypress, a Chinese parasol, and a tree of heaven. It is here that the villagers hold ceremonies to commemorate the birth of Zhuge Liang on April 14 on the lunar calendar. Similar large-scale memorial activities are held on August 28 and the day of winter solstice. They offer chances to glimpse ithe folk culture of the locality.

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