|The Hall of Union and Peace 交泰殿 (Jiāotài Diàn) was first constructed during the Jiajing reign (1522 to 1566) of the Ming Dynasty. Jiāotài Diàn is also translated as simply the Hall of Union. The name is a reference to the I Ching, the Book of Changes. The hall symbolizes the union between heaven and earth, between Yin and Yang, male and female, and the emperor and empress.
The Hall of Union is modeled on the Hall of Middle or Central Harmony, sharing its square shape and single eave roof. It completes the balance of the two main sections of the palace. The Hall of Union was used for a number of grand ceremonies including the celebration of the birthday of the empress, the Lunar New Year, and the Winter Solstice.
Under the Ming Dynasty, the empress used this hall frequently for receptions and celebrations. It was just in front of her imperial residence and was convenient. The empress also had certain rites and observances that were her duty. In Chinese mythology it was the empress who invented silk cultivation and weaving. The empress continued to be the patron of silk cultivation and attended rites to assure the health and growth of mulberry trees and silk worms.
Last update: January 2010
© Marilyn Shea, 2009