An Ancient Chinese Ginkgo Tree Drops an Ocean of Stunning Golden Leaves

Each autumn, in the Gu Guanyin Buddhist Temple in the Zhongnan Mountains in China, this ginkgo tree turns a stunning shade of yellow and covers the ground with its brilliant leaves. Tourists come to see and photograph the 1,400-year-old tree each year.

You can read the full story here.


Children Playing Around the World

Here are some beautiful images of children playing in different cultures around the world. Enjoy! To see more images of happy children playing, click here.








Village in India Plants 111 Trees Each Time a Little Girl is Born

In a beautiful cultural tradition designed to counteract the perception that daughters are a burden to the family, the birth of a baby girl in Piplantri, India is celebrated by planting 111 trees. Also at the time of her birth, village members join together in contributing funds to a "trust" for the girl, to ensure she will never become a financial burden to her family. Her parents make a promise that she will not be required to marry prior to the age of 18. These practices safeguard young girls against violence and unhappy living conditions.

All of the extra trees (a quarter of a million new trees were planted over the past six years!) ensure that the local community will be able to support the continually growing population. The villagers all work together to nurture and protect the trees, which are viewed as especially important due to their link to the little ones in whose honor they were planted. The village has even seen a significant drop in crime since the tradition began.

Read the full article here.


Chinese Moon Cake

As early as the Shang Dynasty (17th Century BC to 1046 BC), there was a special cookie used in celebrations, that is now considered the "ancestor" of the moon cake. Beginning during the Ming Dynasty (1368 to 1644 AD), the cookies became noted for their connection to the Mid-Autumn Festival, one of the four most important festivals in the Chinese culture.

During the Mid-Autumn Festival, people come together for moon watching, and moon cakes are offered between family and friends. Traditional moon cakes have decorations on top to represent "longevity," "harmony," the moon, or a rabbit (symbol of the moon).

According to Wikipedia: "The festival is intricately linked to the mythical Moon Goddess of Immortality. According to "Li-Ji", an ancient Chinese book recording customs and ceremonies, the Chinese Emperor should offer sacrifices to the sun in spring and the moon in autumn ... Because of their central role in the Mid-Autumn festival, moon cakes remain popular even in recent years. For many, they form a central part of the Mid-Autumn festival experience such that it is now commonly known as 'Moon Cake Festival'."


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