Stunned with the luxury of going to the toilet in the Forbidden City

The concept of going to the toilet of the ancients is actually quite shocking, but also comes with great initiatives to address this delicate need.

Providence is actually a kind of basin used to store the delicate waste of the king and harem, which if called a bit rough, is… the toilet.

It is known that providence is not only a fictional product on the film but also associated with “real people” in the ancient palace. Even going to the toilet back then… was more complicated and luxurious than you thought.

The Chinese imperial palace believes that “delicate waste” is another version of a grain of rice – a precious food. Therefore, right from that time, the topic of going to the toilet was very normal and could be discussed because it was an indispensable human need. But of course, it’s still considered dirty.

During the Ming and Qing dynasties, placing a fixed latrine would cause “loss of beauty” and smell unclean.

But anyway, “sadness” is always there and must be dealt with! That’s when providence appeared to help the digestive system as well as the excretory system of aristocrats.

Stunned with the luxury of going to the toilet in the Forbidden City
A few providential “designs” in the royal palace in the past.

By the time of Empress Dowager Cixi, providence was highly respected, crafted and recorded in many composite records.

According to the description, the Queen Mother’s providence is made from sandalwood (light yellow wood, fragrant, dubbed “green gold” because of its high value). Its shape resembles a large lizard.

The four legs of a lizard are four bases. The animal’s mouth was wide open to hold… the scroll. Its tail curls to form a handle. The lizard head looked back at the master who was “riding” on it, his eyes shining because it was crafted from two rubies!

Stunned with the luxury of going to the toilet in the Forbidden City
Items used to store waste from the office.

In particular, the lizard’s belly will contain delicate waste, which is lined with wood chips. When used, the “product” will be buried in wood chips, so that the user will not see unclean objects or breathe in any odors.

Every time the Empress Dowager Cixi sent the palace to the palace, the eunuch was given a chance to play a relay game and a triathlon. Some people give instructions, people arrange tools, some people pull the curtains, help the Queen take off her clothes, wash her hands… All are quick – neat – fast in accordance with the urgency of the matter!

Besides, the matter of equipping toilet paper is equally impressive. The palace maid will cut a large piece of paper, then use her mouth to spray some water, but it must be sprayed lightly and evenly like… the sky is covered with fog.

After that, the paper was ironed twice with a copper iron, both to be clean and smooth and smooth, making the Queen Mother satisfied.

Stunned with the luxury of going to the toilet in the Forbidden City
Toilet paper in the old palace. (Illustration).

After the Empress Dowager or other masters went to the toilet, the eunuch took the mandarin out of the palace with certain respect, holding it high with both hands. Next, delicate waste, whether of the master or the servant, was periodically removed from the palace and destroyed.

Later, when King Pu Yi – the last emperor of China – left the Forbidden City, he also took the bureaucracy with him, thus making it more popular with the masses.

Those “providing” pieces are still kept in a number of museums or private collections. You may find it funny, maybe a little shy, when it comes to providence, but it’s a really cool and useful idea anyway, isn’t it?