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Old Man of the South Pole

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Old Man of the South Pole on painted ceramic
Old Man of the South Pole on painted ceramic

The Old Man of the South Pole (in Chinese: 南極老人, 南極仙翁 or Japanese: 南極老人) is the Taoist deification of Canopus, the brightest star of the constellation Carina.

It is the symbol of happiness and longevity in Far Eastern culture.

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The Search Engine Google is showing this animated Doodle in many Countries for the 105th Anniversary of First Expedition to Reach the South Pole The first expedition to reach the geographic South Pole was led by the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen. He and four others arrived at the pole on 14 December 1911, five weeks ahead of a British party led by Robert Falcon Scott as part of the Terra Nova Expedition. Amundsen and his team returned safely to their base, and later learned that Scott and his four companions had died on their return journey. Today marks the 105th anniversary of Roald Amundsen's expedition to the South Pole. Known as "the last of the Vikings," Amundsen was a lifelong adventurer with a gift for organization and planning. "Victory awaits him who has everything in order," wrote Amundsen, and his South Pole journey was a perfect illustration of that principle. Amundsen's expedition party consisted of 19 people and nearly 100 Greenland sled dogs. The dogs -- along with the use of skis to cross treacherous terrain -- were key to the team's success. Today's Google Doodle depicts the crew at the finish line, taking a moment to bask in the glory while the Antarctic wind whips outside their tent.



The Old Man of the South Pole is often depicted in the Chinese pictures as an old man with a long white beard, with a deer by his side. This style of picture is related to the story of an emperor of the Northern Song Dynasty who had invited such an old man from the street and later considered the old man as the sign of his longevity.[1]

Canopus is usually called in Chinese the Star of the Old Man (in Chinese: 老人星) or the Star of the Old Man of the South Pole (in Chinese: 南極老人星). Since Carina is a Southern constellation, Canopus is rarely seen in Northern China and, if seen in good weather, looks reddish lying near the southern horizon. Because the color red is the symbol of happiness and longevity in China, Canopus is also known in China and its neighboring countries of Korea, Japan and Vietnam as the Star of Old Age (in Chinese: 壽星) or the Star of the Man of the Old Age (in Chinese: 壽老人). In Japan, it became Jurōjin (in Japanese: 壽老人), one of the Seven Gods of Fortune (in Japanese: 七福神).


According to legend, the Old Man of the South Pole was once a sickly boy named Zhao Yen, who had been predicted to die when he was 19 years old. He was therefore advised to visit a certain field and to bring with him a jar of wine and dried meat. In that field he would find two men intent on playing checkers under a tree. He should offer them wine and meat, but should avoid answering their questions. Zhao Yen followed the advice, and when the two men had consumed the meat and the wine they decided to thank him by exchanging the figures of his life expectancy from 19 to 91 years. Later he was told that one of the two men was the star of the North Pole, which fixes the date of birth of the men, and the other the star of the South Pole, which fixes the date of death.

See also


  1. ^ "Baidu Encyclopedia: The Old Man of the South Pole". 2013-07-16. Retrieved 2014-08-25.

External links

This page was last edited on 6 September 2019, at 17:42
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