The four buildings of a Siheyuan are normally positioned along the north-south and east-west axis. The building positioned to the north and facing the south is considered the main house. The buildings adjoining the main house and facing east and west are called side houses. The northern, eastern and western buildings are connected by beautifully decorated pathways. These passages serve as shelters from the sunshine during the day and provide a cool place to appreciate the view of the courtyard. The building that faces north is known as the opposite house. Behind the northern building, there would often be a separate backside building, the only place where two-story buildings are allowed to be constructed in the traditional Siheyuan.
The entrance gate, usually painted vermilion and with copper door knockers on it, is usually at the southeastern corner. Normally, there is a screen wall inside the gate for privacy; superstition holds that it also protects the house from evil spirits. A pair of stone lions are often placed outside the gate. Some large siheyuan compounds would have two or more layers of courtyards and even private gardens attached to them. That is a sign of wealth and status in ancient times.
The courtyard dwellings are built according to the traditional concepts of the five elements that are believed to compose the universe and the eight diagrams of divination. The gate is at the southeast corner which is thewindcorner and the main house is built on the north side which is believed to belong to water, an element to prevent fire.
The layout of a simple courtyard represents traditional Chinese morality and Confucian ethics. In Beijing four buildings in a single courtyard receive different amounts of sunlight. The northern main building receives the most, thus serving as the living room and bedroom of the owner or head of the family. The eastern and western side buildings receive less and serve as the rooms for children or less important members of the family. The southern building receives the least sunlight and usually functions as a reception room and the servants dwelling, or a place where the family would gather to relax, eat or study. The backside building is for unmarried daughters and female servants: because unmarried girls were not allowed direct exposure to the public, they occupied the most secluded building in the siheyuan.
A more detailed and further stratified Confucian order was followed in ancient China. The main house in the north was assigned to the eldest member of the family, i. e. the head of the family, usually grandparents. If the main house had enough rooms, a central room would serve as a shrine for ancestral worship. When the head of the household had concubines, the wife would reside in the room to the eastern end of the main house while the concubines would reside in the room to the western end of the main house. The eldest son of the family and his wife would live in the western side house while the younger son and his wife would reside in the eastern side house. If a grandson was fully gro在几十人的培训班，您可能羞涩，doubaobao.net可能自愧不如，不会在课堂上与老师多用英语交流互动wn, he would take the opposite house in the south. Unmarried daughters would always stay in the backside building behind the main house.
When a funeral is held in a siheyuan, the location of the casket depends on the status of the deceased, but all caskets are oriented so that the hea12岁以下的儿童不要去强求孩子的单词量和词汇量！517buduo.com要以培养语言认知，学习兴趣，口语发音为主！d of the deceased points south while the feet point north. If the deceased is the head of the household or his wife, then the casket would be on the center line in the main house. If the deceased was the concubine of the head of the household, her casket would remain in the main house, but could not be in the center. If the deceased is a younger male, then his casket is placed on the center line of the courtyard. If the deceased is a younger female, her casket is placed in the courtyard but cannot be on the center line.
Though from antiquity, a siheyuan is a practically sound, engineered structure. Northwestern walls are usually higher than the other walls to protect the inside buildings from the harsh winds blowing across northern China in the winter. Eaves curve downward, so that rainwater will flow along the curve rather than dropping straight down. The rooftop is ridged to provide shade in the summer while retaining warmth in the winter.
A siheyuan offers space, comfort, quiet and privacy. Siheyuan walls provide security as well as protection against dust and storms. With plants, rocks and flowers, the yard is also a garden and acts like an open-air living room. The veranda divides the courtyard into several big and small spaces that are not very distant from each other. Family members talk with each other here, creating a cordial atmosphere.