Tag: Culture

Magha Puja – the full moon festival in Southeast Asia

magha-puja_198x198Māgha Pūjā is an important Buddhist holiday that is celebrated in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Sri Lanka, on the day of the full moon, in the third month of the Thai moon calendar, in February/March. The word Māgha refers to month and Pūjā is the honoring. Legend has it that on this day 1,250 monks congregated to meet with Buddha. [read more]

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The lunar plaques and other messages to the universe

earth_198x198Are we alone in the universe? Are there other intelligent forms of life in space or are we alone? These questions have been on mankind’s mind, since we consciously reflect our existence and raise our gaze toward the starlit sky.

With the beginning of space travel, there arose the idea, of sending messages to potential extraterrestrial life. The question, which information is suitable, a representative picture of the entire human race and their lives on planet Earth, is particularly exciting. [read more]

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Moon bridges

moonbridge-taipei_198x198A moon bridge is a pedestrian bridge, of which the semicircular arch completes a full circle through its reflection in the water and reminds of the full moon. In the old days, the high arch especially, served the purpose for barges to comfortably pass through underneath. Moon bridges originate in the Asian culture and were often built in Japanese and Chinese gardens.  The mostly used materials were wood, stone and metal.

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»Ghost Clouds« by Richard Riemerschmid

riemerschmid_198x198Richard Riemerschmid (1868–1957) was a German artist and architect and a major figure in Jugendstil (German form of Art Nouveau). Further, he worked in arts and handcrafts and created furniture, fabrics, wall paper, and dishes, and was the co-founder of the German Association of Craftsmen – an association of artists, architects and business men. [read more]

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»The Moon’s Rapture« by Frank Frazetta

frazetta_198x198Frank Frazetta (1928–2010) was an American fantasy and science fiction illustrator and belongs to one of the greatest artists of this genre. With his distinctive style, he was as a great example to an entire generation of artists. His work continues to receive high appreciation, down to the present day.

He began with illustrations of covers for comics and books in the 60′s began (i.e. »Conan the Barbarian« or »Tarzan«), designed movie posters (i.e. »What’s New Pussycat?« or »The Fearless Vampire Killers«) and album covers. In addition, he created a lot of free art work. [read more]

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The full moon in »The Fearless Vampire Killers«

the-fearless-vampire-killers1_198x198The comedy horror film »The Fearless Vampire Killers«, directed by Roman Polański in 1967, is a classic of the genre. The film tells the story of the vampire scientist Professor  Abronsius and his assistant Alfred (played by Roman Polański), who go on a vampire hunt in the snowy mountains of Transylvania and encounter various bizarre figures, and of course the beautiful daughter of the inn keeper Sarah (played by Sharon Tate, whom Polański married in 1968). The film entrances with its absurd and simultaneously funny atmosphere, created by the skillful interactions between light, music, scenery and actors. Thereby, satirical elements resonate as well, when the rotten aristocracy is represented in the form of the undead. [read more]

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»The Moonlit Night« by Joseph von Eichendorff

eichendorff_198x198The German poet and novelist Joseph Freiherr von Eichendorff (1788–1857) counts among the foremost representatives of Romanticism. Many of his poems had been set to music and were sung.

Von Eichendorff, born in Ratibor (today Racibórz in Poland), studied originally law and worked in a variety of administrative civil service positions, up until he retired. Simultaneously, he devoted his time to his writing and publishing skills, until he died from pneumonia in 1857. [read more]

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The Roman Lunula Amulet

lunula-amulet_198x198In the Ancient Roman Empire, lunula amulets were often worn as a lucky charm, but also as protection against evil forces and demons. Special crescent-shaped jewelry pieces were made for girls, to grant them the protection of the goddess Diana. Diana is the goddess of the Moon and also of hunting in Roman mythology. Artemis is the equivalent among the Greek Gods. [read more]

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The moon paintings by Lovis Corinth

lovis-corinth_198x198The German painter Lovis Corinth (1858–1925) is considered one of the most important representatives of German Impressionism, in his late work also Expressionism. In 1919, his wife built a house for him at the Lake Walchen, south of Munich in the Bavarian Alps. The following years, he spent a lot of time there and derived his inspiration from the landscape and lighting atmosphere for numerous paintings, which often show Lake Walchen. [read more]

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The song »Fly Me To The Moon«

frank-sinatra_198x198The jazz classic »Fly Me To The Moon«, originally written by Bart Howard in 1954, gained worldwide fame through Frank Sinatra (1915–1998). His version from 1964 accompanied the space mission Apollo 10 to the Moon in May of 1969, and was played when the spaceship orbited the Moon. Further, it was the first song ever that was played on the Moon, when Buzz Aldrin stepped onto the Moon with a portable cassette player during the Apollo 11 mission in July 1969. [read more]

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»The Woman of the Apocalypse« and the Moon

woman-of-the-apocalypse_198x198»The Woman of the Apocalypse« is a depiction of a Virgin Mary that is surrounded by sunrays (hence she is also called sun-crowned Madonna), and shows a moon crescent underneath her feet. Quite often stars can also be seen around her head. This portrait goes back to the biblical text »The Woman and the Dragon« in the Revelation of John, chapter 12. This describes the fight of heaven against the red dragon that embodies the evil in the world. [read more]

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»Tsukimi«: Moon-viewing in Japan

japan_198x198Japan has a custom, which is called »Tsukimi« or also »Otsukimi« that literally means »moon-viewing« (tsuki = jap. Moon). This tradition dates back to the Heian period (794–1192) where Japanese culture and the arts were refined to a high degree. At that time, elements of the Chinese »Mid-Autumn Moon Festival« were introduced in Japan, and festivals and rituals were held in the eighth sun month (which corresponds to September in our current calendar). [read more]

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The moonlight in »How to Train Your Dragon«

train-your-dragon_198x198The film is based on the book of the same title by Cressida Cowell (2003), was released in 2010 in movie theaters and became one of the most successful animations and earned nearly $500 million. Next to its impressive technical quality of the animation, it is most of all about the story of Hickup, a son of a Viking, who flies directly into the hearts of the audience, with his ability to tame dragons, which was a hostile skill to have up until then. [read more]

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The Moon and René Magritte

rene-magritte_198x198The Belgium painter René Magritte (1898–1967) was next to Salvador Dalí, one of the most influential painters of surrealism. This denotes a style in art (and in other areas), which has tried to use dreamlike, fantastical and absurd elements as techniques of expression for a new superior reality, since the 1920s. [read more]

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»Wau Bulan« – the moon-kite of Malaysia

wau-bulan_198x198As already mentioned before, the Moon assumes a special status in Asia as well. There are a few important festivals, which are closely connected to the Moon, like for example the Moon Festival and the Lantern Festival in China, or many celebrations in Buddhism and Hinduism.

In Malaysia, in South East Asia, there is a traditional kite called  »wau bulan«, whereas »wau« stands for kite and »bulan« for the Moon. The kite got its name because of its moon crescent-shaped lower part. When you fly this kite, it supposed to remind of the rising Moon. [read more]

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The full moon on Japanese woodblock prints

moon_woodblok-prints_198x198Japanese woodblock prints have a centuries-long tradition and stand for high quality craftsmanship and artistic expressiveness. In particular, when realizing that this printing technique has been practiced since the 8th century (when letterpress printing in Europe was still a distant prospect), it becomes clear what kind of cultural achievements can be associated with this. A woodblock print works just like a stamp that has been carved into a block of wood. Then the color is applied onto the wood and printed onto paper. If you want to print a variety of colors on top of each other, you need a separate woodblock per each color and hence receive the characteristic depth effect. [read more]

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The full moon in »Frozen«

frozen_198x198This animation of 2013 is the most successful movie by the Disney Animation Studios yet, and supersedes the previous hit »The Lion King«. Not only in the US and Japan, but this production also received many awards in Germany (amongst other things the Oscar 2014 for ›Best Animated Feature‹ and ›Best Original Song‹) and was a box office hit. [read more]

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The Moon and Salvador Dalí

dali_198x198The Spanish artist Salvador Dalí (1904–1989) was the most important advocate of surrealism in paintings. His pictures show fantastic and dreamlike scenes, which remain in your memory due to their expression and originality. We also asked ourselves, whether we would be able to discover the Moon in Dalí as well, just like in other paintings (e.g. by Marc Chagal, Paul Klee, Caspar David Friedrich, William Turner, Adam Elsheimer or Petrus van Schendel)? And after a little bit of searching, we managed to find something. [read more]

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»Bad Moon Rising« by CCR

ccr_198x198It is 1969 – John Fogerty, the front man and lead guitarist of the rock band Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR) writes the song »Bad Moon Rising«. He was inspired by a black-and-white movie called »The Devil and Daniel Webster«, in which almost an entire city is obliterated by a hurricane. Fogerty creates gloomy lyrics that warn about the threat of destruction and its  bringer of ill luck, being the rising Moon. [read more]

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The Moon in the movie »Gravity«

gravity_198x198The American-British space thriller »Gravity« of 2013, offers next to its extraordinary suspenseful action, breathtaking images of space that show apart from the Earth and the Sun also the Moon. The director of the movie is Alfonso Cuarón (who also directed Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban). The movie is commercially very successful and has already brought in the multiple of its production cost, shortly after its release. [read more]

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