Being one of the UNESCO heritage sites, St Michael the Archangel Church in D?bno was a Gothic church built of larch wood in the 15th century. It’s still in use at present for the locals and tourists. On Sundays, the church is always packed with faithful disciples for the Sunday service and curious tourists waiting for going inside the church, opened only 10 minutes for tourists each weekend, to witness the well-preserved interior fittings and paintings. The maintenance is down to the priest who is not just the ‘tour guide’ of this historical church, but also works as a guardian of this small village and surrounding area.
Located at Heddal in Notodden municipality, Norway, Heddal Stave Church (Norwegian: Heiterdals kircke) was constructed in the early 13th century. It is the largest among the 28 stave churches remained in Norway today. Stave church is a medieval wooden church of traditional Nordic style.
Heddal stave church is a timber-built church with three small turrets. The church contains numerous symbols of old Christian and heathen traditions. The holy cross on the turrets is the symbol of Christianity, whereas the dragon heads at the gable ends represent the old heathen motifs rooted in Celtic and Germanic sources.
Ifugao province is on Luzon Island, the northern part of the Philippines. It is located in a mountainous region with rice terraces, river valleys and forests, where people still make a living by mostly farming and wood carving.
We were lucky to meet an aboriginal priestess, Elena Anagiwan, introducing us the ritual of harvest, which is a way to show our respect to God.
Carey Island, located 3hours of drive away at the southwest of Kuala Lumpur, is home to the native Mah Meri tribes, who are known for their magnificent wooden craft and masks.
The Mah Meri model the masks after the ancestral spirits,who they believe can ward off evil spirits and solve problems.
Samri Abdul Rahman, a renowned artist of traditional Mah Meri tribe wooden mask-making, shares with the world the mystic cultural significance of the Mah Meri woodenmasks. Through a demonstration of mask-designing and carving, Samri also shows how he blends in imagination and tradition believes into his profession.
The JinJen Octagon, built in 1703 A.D.was one type of Hinayana Buddhist architecture. It was used as a venue for meeting and chanting amongst monks. During the Cultural Revolution, Chinese government forbade people from participating in any religious activities. Many monks at the JinJen Octagon were sent back to their countriesor hometowns. The revolution ended in 1976. Restrictions on religious activities were lifted in the 1980s and JinJen Octagon gradually regained its vitality.
Experts congregated at the JinJen Octagon to discuss plantsspecies, tree growths and usage surrounding it. The biggest tree around the JinJen Octagon is the Bodhi tree (sacredfig). Next to it is a Blossoming Tree, which is known as the Golden Lotus forits shape. The Golden Lotus belongs to the Musaceae family. Growing on the Bodhi tree was Lumeria Rubra and ferns. Therefore, the Bodhi tree itselfis regarded as a botanical garden.
Manfeilong Pagodas are called “Tanuo” meaning “bamboo tower” in the Dai language. The pagodas were built in 1204 BC from brick and stone. There are nine towers total with the main tower in the center surrounded by the other eight forming an octagon. It is considered a valuable work of art and a national symbol for ancient buildings. The Manfeilong Pagodas and other Buddhist temples are built by the minority ethnic groups whose religion is Theravada. The trees and flowers to be planted around the temples are chosen according to Theravada beliefs. Each species of tree is a sacred representation of each generation of Theravada Buddha.