The Palace Museum in Beijing, China on Wednesday opened a special exhibition on Ruyi scepters, a traditional Chinese ornament and talisman, to welcome the Year of Ox. The exhibition displays around 160 Ruyi scepters in various materials including gold, jade, bamboo, ivory and Chinese porcelain. The show will run till May 9.
The Ruyi scepter is usually composed of a long S-shaped handle and a head in the form of a heart, a cloud, or a longevity fungus. Originally used in ancient China for scratching the back, it later became a popular ornament symbolizing good fortune and auspiciousness in the dynasties of Ming and Qing. "Ruyi" means "as your heart desires," one of the most commonly used greeting phrases during Spring Festival.