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Threshold

  Old houses have a characteristic, the threshold is high. If you are not careful, you will be tripped. There are not many old houses left in most villages now. Although the newly built houses also have thresholds, they are not distinctive. The thresholds of those old houses are usually directly fixed in the brick grooves of the door pillows. The wood is hard, wear-resistant and corrosion-resistant, and the two sides are firmly connected. The wooden door is clean, and the threshold and wooden door design are integrated. Some have higher thresholds and higher foundations. The height is for waterproof and windproof, and it also prevents the entry of rat snakes and small reptiles. Even more so in villages by the sea. The wind at the seaside will be stronger than that in the inland, and the humidity will be heavier. A high threshold is set, largely to prevent the wind from blowing in from under the door after the door is closed. The wind is cold from the feet, and the ice rises from the ground. The terrain of the seaside will be relatively low, and the terrain of the village is not high. In this case, if the foundation is not high and the threshold is low, then as long as there is a heavy rain, the water will flood into the house.
  Threshold, known as threshold in ancient books. Ci Hai said: The threshold is the crossbar under the door. The threshold is the boundary between inside and outside. There is also a saying in “Erya·Shi Gong” that “wood loses its name”. Later, there were stone thresholds and iron thresholds, but all the thresholds have the same meaning.
  It takes effort to cross the threshold. The ancients were so wise, they were instilled with a hard-working and progressive concept when you entered and exited the door. It subtly tells you that there is nothing good in the world for nothing. A high threshold is not a bad thing, it just requires you to face up to difficulties, it just requires you to learn to lift your feet and take steps at any time. The most direct reflection of the awareness of the threshold in the ancient village is reflected in the attitude of the villagers towards the year of birth. They think that the birth year is “kaner”. It is said that people have many disasters in the birth year, so they should live with extra care. Therefore, people in the year of birth should wear a red belt or a pair of red underpants, and at least tie a red rope around their wrists (men tie their left hand and women tie their right hand) to ward off evil spirits, just to overcome this “hurdle” of suffering. There is no threshold that cannot be crossed, no problem that cannot be solved, and no dream that cannot be realized. The existence of the threshold is not to set up obstacles, but to actively enter the world. It is a very philosophical reminder that as long as you are willing to move forward, there will always be hope.
  Crossing the threshold also requires piety and awe. When you step over the threshold and enter the house, you will usually see the gods worshiped at home first. Incense is on the top, and there is a god three feet above the head. There is no stronger recognition than the moment you just stepped over the threshold.
  The ancients have wisdom, and the rural people have fine traditions, which can be seen from these small details. The layout of a threshold and a courtyard first meets the requirements of living, and secondly meets the requirements of Fengshui. This is the embodiment of awe of life and nature and the idea of ​​the unity of man and nature. It is believed that the high threshold effectively fills the gap in the door and can well restrain the qi in the house, including talent, popularity, luck and harmony. Generally speaking, the auspicious qi at the door includes the inviting and restrained qi. The threshold keeps the good luck of inviting people in, so that the house will be better, the family business will prosper, and of course the future generations will live better and better. At the same time, the threshold also protects the door from corrosion to a certain extent.
  The high sill can be used to sit on, even lean against, but never stand on it. To cross the threshold, you have to raise one foot and step over it before stepping on the second foot. It is not allowed to stay on the threshold at the same time before entering the house with both feet. In the village, sometimes naughty children are seen jumping up the threshold with both feet and then jumping down again, which they often find very amusing. At this time, the old man would reprimand the child and mutter to himself that those who do not know are innocent, with a very pious expression. This is also very particular. In temples, male guests should step with their left foot first, and female guests should step with their right foot first when crossing the threshold. The left foot of a male guest is to enter the Western Pure Land, and the right foot is to enter the 18th hell, and the female guest is the opposite. Although it is not as particular at home as in temples, the etiquette is the same. Yang Zhai has a high threshold, while Yin Zhai usually has no threshold. It is said that those lonely ghosts walk with their feet side by side. The threshold of the Yang Zhai is high, even if they go the wrong way, they can’t jump in. But the lonely ghost will also learn from it. If someone in the mansion jumps with both legs to the threshold and then jumps into the shadow of the house, it will definitely learn it easily. Of course, these are superstitious claims. There is a legend that in ancient times, in order to prevent the plague of zombies from breaking out, a highly respected and powerful monk gave the villagers a solution, that is, to set up a “barrier” at the entrance of the door. If zombies want to come in, they must After passing through this “hurdle”, the zombie’s legs will not bend, and he will definitely trip over when he walks to the door, and he will not move after tripping. If you encounter more powerful zombies, lower the door eaves slightly, so that if the zombies want to jump into the house, they will be blocked by the very low door eaves. If these two methods do not work, everyone can escape from the window for help. Later, these two methods were widely used, which is the origin of high threshold and low eaves. The old houses in Xiacun have such a structure with high threshold and low eaves, which should follow the history of ancient architecture and show the wisdom of the ancients. Although there is a lot of superstition in this, at least Threshold teaches the villagers that they should understand the rules, abide by the rules, and know the awe from an early age, so that they can seek advantages and avoid disadvantages, and seek auspiciousness.
  The high threshold actually represents the status, wealth and status of that family. Thresholds have been used in the imperial palace and the homes of officials and nobles. The greater the official title, the more courtyards, and the higher the threshold. How high the threshold is and what materials are used are actually very particular. In the early days of the founding of New China, there was almost no difference in the rural areas in terms of house types and thresholds. Before the 1960s and 1970s, there were almost all houses with earthen walls and tiles in the countryside, and the thresholds were all built according to standard sizes. The only difference was the size of their yards.
  Of course, there is another saying that the threshold is the owner’s neck or back, and it is very taboo for others to step on it with their feet, let alone double feet. For those who believe in Buddhism, the threshold also symbolizes the shoulders of Sakyamuni, which represents a kind of belief. Bow your head across the threshold and look up to see the Buddha. So the function of the threshold is to let you know that you are about to enter the house, and you should pay attention to your words, deeds, and appearance. The ancients said that only when you live in peace can you enjoy your work, and only when there are barriers can you live in peace.
  Today’s old houses are mostly occupied by elderly people who are unwilling to move out easily. They like to move a stool next to the threshold when they are free, bask in the sun or chat. These scenes may become the most distinctive photos under the lens of outsiders. An open door, a high threshold, represents the most familiar part of the countryside and nostalgia. The threshold is the same as the old house, probably the support and memory of these old people. The threshold in the old house still exudes the most down-to-earth life atmosphere, showing the etiquette symbols of generations, and also full of unique charm, which makes people appreciate carefully.

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