Veneration of the sky and the heavenly bodies is the basis of many ancient beliefs and cultural traditions.
Sky as a carrier of the divine light and purity of thought was opposed to the ground with her troubles, diseases and wars.
It was no exception and the Ancient China, which Heaven Cult became the cornerstone of religion and state.
The country, covered sky
In many ways, China's definition of both Chinathe country was due to its location. Ancient China was isolated from the rest of the world's natural obstacles - mountains in the west, the seas to the east and south-east. And just to the north the land was opened countless hordes of nomads, constantly plagued by the civilian population.
Gradually, the conviction emerged among the people thatLand is a huge square, covered with a heavenly drive. But the corners of the square beyond the borders of the sky, and so the land is inhabited by evil people who do not know the mercy of the gods. The land on which the celestial disc was seen, and was named China (Tian Xia) - chosen by the gods and stored.
Since the Celestial country was in the middle of the square, its other name was the Middle Kingdom (Zhong Guo).
Son of Heaven
According to China's religious views, rulerthe country was representative of heaven on earth. To emphasize the divine origin of the power of the Chinese emperor called the Son of Heaven. Since the sky transfer their authority to only one person, the whole Celestial subordinate to him. The ruler commanded not only the earth, but also the time - in the form of a calendar and chronology.
Center for Peace was at the court of the ChineseEmperor, and from him, as from a stone thrown into water ripples - Emperor's ministers, common people, a vassal principality, and finally, at the corners of the world - the barbarians. All the barbaric rulers of the marginal lands were considered nothing more than a vassal of the Chinese emperor.
As close as possible to the gods
The main places of worship of ancient ChinaThey stressed the proximity of the emperor to the heavens. Ruler Palace in Beijing, which is called the Forbidden City, comprised of 9,999 rooms, it was exactly one less than in the palace of the Sky God.
Same age as the Forbidden City - the majestic TempleSky is still the main shrine of the Chinese people. Here, in a particularly difficult time for the country to the emperor he could retire with the gods of the meeting. Such ceremony lasted for two weeks and were accompanied by magnificent processions to hundreds of people, horses and elephants. The Temple of Heaven held the coronation of the emperors until the XX century.
During his vassalage to ChinaJapan took over from the Chinese culture chosen by God supreme ruler. The Japanese state has become the emperor called the Son of the Sun, as for the small island country by the time got the name "Rising Sun".
In modern China, the People's Republic of the term "Middle Kingdom" means the whole world, but still it is associated only with China in Russia.