phoenix

The Phoenix

The Chinese phoenix … exists only in legends and fairy tales. The phoenix was commonly referred to as the “King of Birds.” As sovereign of all birds, it has the head of a golden pheasant, a parrot’s beak, the body of a mandarin duck, the wings of a roc, peacock feathers and the legs of the crane. With its elaborate beauty, it reigns over the feathered world. An early design of the phoenix is depicted on a silk painting discovered in a tomb of the Warring States Period (475-221 BC) near Changsha, Hunan Province. As a supernatural bird, the phoenix embodies the five virtues of benevolence, righteousness, propriety, wisdom and sincerity. As such, it cannot harm either a single insect or blade of grass. It perches itself only on the finest firmiana tree, eating and drinking nothing but bamboo seeds and sweet spring water.**

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**http://www.chinaculture.org/gb/en_chinaway/2004-03/24/content_46442.htm