The size of China, the depth of the Chinese civilization, each of the ancient customs are not groundless, some spread to this day, such as throwing COINS. This phenomenon is common in many tourist attractions, where there are water tank, wishing pool, spring, fish pool, release pool, and so on, there are a lot of shiny 10 fen, 50 yuan COINS.
This custom is known as “throwing money for a prize” and means blessing and wishing. But with the prevalence of tourism, people began to pursue the spirit of the material, the domestic each big scenic spot can plug money or fill out of place, toss the development in the end, the phenomenon of luck went abroad, so that in a foreign country many attractions to remind visitors not to throw in Chinese money, such as Japan’s wild sea of eight.
But to my surprise, in the maijishan grottoes in tianshui, gansu province, to prevent tourists from damaging cultural relics while throwing COINS, there are many signs that read “no throwing COINS to avoid damaging cultural relics”.
Therefore, under the clay statues of many buddhist shrines, we can see a large amount of paper money. Although COINS cannot be tossed, the Chinese custom of “throwing money for color” has not disappeared.
However, whether throwing COINS or banknotes, this kind of blessing is not a modern product. It has been popular in ancient China. As early as the pre-qin period, Chinese people offered jade to the gods by burning, burying and throwing into rivers.
But the phenomenon of coin flipping, I think, is influenced by western culture. Europeans have the habit of putting COINS into Trevi fountains, such as the Trevi fountain in Rome, which is very famous in the world.
In the late 20th and early 21st centuries, this coin toss began to enter China and was quickly accepted by the Chinese and became an unstoppable trend. At Shanghai pudong international airport, an 80-year-old woman threw a handful of COINS at the engine of an airliner for “blessing”. As soon as this news came out, it burst into flames on the Internet. Many netizens thought that COINS were a kind of evil custom and made the most incisive ridicule.
In view of the people’s “exchange” psychology, it can be seen that the influence of COINS is very large. However, the paper money phenomenon in maijishan grottoes reflects that the root of people’s blessing has nothing to do with the material of money, but with money itself.
People believe that throwing money at places with gods is not only a way to pray for blessings but also a way to wish for them (but the reality in the real world is that ancient corpse pits and dinosaur fossil galleries are not spared), and the maijishan grottoes are even more essential.
COINS are scarce, but paper money is everywhere, whether beneath the clay or between the gouges in the rocks. In the eyes of many visitors, maijishan grottoes may not be a treasure trove of art, but a place of worship.
Whether it is clay sculpture, murals or stone carvings, they are all related to Buddhism, and they do not discuss whether it is buddhist art or whether it reflects the culture and aesthetics of various dynasties. People think that losing one or several banknotes here will give them comfort.
Maijishan grottoes is one of the four largest grottoes in China and a world cultural heritage site. It was built in 384-417 in tianshui city, gansu province. There are 221 grottoes, 10632 clay sculptures and stone carvings, and over 1,300 square meters of murals.
Although this is my visit to the same place again, one in the snow and one in the middle of summer, my understanding of the grotto art and culture is far from enough. But what surprised me was that during the winter snow, there was no phenomenon of tourists throwing banknotes in maijishan grottoes, nor was there any notice board. However, in the height of summer, many banknotes left by tourists were displayed in the exhibition hall. The reminder board stood out under the clay sculpture and stone sculpture, which made me unable to take my eyes off it.
I can’t help but think of Chinese coin fliers, including the news that an 80-year-old woman threw a handful of COINS at the engine of an airliner. Although coin tossing came into China in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, wishing patterns like this have been documented in ancient China.
Facing the enthusiasm of Chinese people and “exchange” psychology, maijishan grottoes nature is difficult to resist, in order to protect cultural relics to prohibit tourists throwing COINS, is correct. But in order not to “hurt” the tourists’ psychology, the reminder board just said “no COINS” and did not say “no money”, so the COINS were changed to notes and a “harmonious consensus” was reached between the two sides.
But in my opinion, there is a place for blessing, and we should not lose civilization for blessing. Whether in scenic spots or cultural sites, the custom of throwing money at a pit is not a blessing, but a kind of destruction. We should be self-conscious and self-disciplined.