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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Symbolism; learn more...

The centre blue panel on the Arch is Chinese characters saying "Ottawa Chinatown".

The Arch is rich in symbolism. For example, the tableau shown above is repeated on most of the nine roof corners. The dragon on the left represents the Emperor or government. The figure to the right is a civil servant or messenger riding a phoenix, sent out on state business. The three mythical monsters following him are to eat him up if he does not perform his duties to the highest standards.

The Chinatown business association has produced an informative booklet that explains some of the symbolism in the Gateway, allowing the viewer to "read" some of the stories on the Arch. It also explains some of the architectural features and traditions expressed in the gateway. The brochure will soon be available free at most merchants and restaurants in Chinatown.

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