Feng Shui

Feng Shui is literally translated as Wind Water. It is a method of investigating geographical features used in site selection and construction of dwellings, cities, and tombs, etc. by means of examining soil and tasting water. Its core concept is the harmonious coexistence between human beings and nature.

 History
Feng Shui has a very long history. As early as in the Zhou Dynasty (1046 – 256 BC), people used methods of observing soil, tasting water, and investigating terrain to choose the ideal base. In the Warring States Period (475 – 221 BC), the famous militarist and politician of the Qin State, Yan Junji predicted the future by observing the geographical features. In the Han Dynasty (202 BC – 220 AD), basic theories of FengShui formed, based on observing surrounding geographical characteristics. By the Song Dynasty (960 – 1279 AD), FengShui was been widely believed to be a horoscope by common people.

 Different Schools
As time passed by, FengShui developed into many different schools. The existing two main schools are Xingshi School and Liqi School. Xingshi School focuses on the study of mountains and rivers and site selection for architecture. Its main method is examining soil and tasting water andfollowers advocate that houses should be built at the mountain foot, encircled by mountains, exposed to the sun, and facing water. Liqi School pays more attention to the position and layout of architecture by using eight diagrams and twelve earthly branches, which mainly derive from ‘The Book of Changes' and astronomy. The famous tool of Liqi School isthe FengShui compass. In history, famous FengShui experts are well versed in both Xingshi and Liqi theories.

 Major Principles
No matter what school of FengShui they share major principles such as, in accordance with local conditions, leaning against mountains, facing waters, and facing south during site selection and construction work, etc.

 Feng Shui Decorations
They are used in daily lives to bring good luck in health, finance, relationships, and career,drive off evil spirits, and break taboos.

 Feng Shui and Architecture
When talking about Chinese architecture, especially ancient Chinese architecture, FengShui is sure to be mentioned. It can be said that FengShui is the key part of ancient Chinese architecture, which is also widely used in modern architecture.
Further Reading: Feng Shui Tips for Home, Graveyard Feng Shui, China Cities with Good Feng Shui

 Arguments 
Although rich in history, some FengShui theories cannot be explained by contemporary science. Thus, some consider it a belief, or even superstition, which has retarded the progress of China’s architecture and interior designing. However, supporters think that it is an interdisciplinary branch concerning geophysics, hydrogeology, meteorology, architecture, and ecology. Whatever side one is on, the contributions FengShui has made to ancient Chinese architecture and China's customs cannot be neglected.