China Unveils The World’s Largest Spokeless Ferris Wheel Known As The “Dragon’s Spine”

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The city of Weifang in China’s Shandong province is about to launch the world’s largest spokeless ferris wheel. Located on a bridge that spans across the Bailang River, this elegant structure with a scaly criss-cross design is said to be the “spine” or “backbone” of the White Dragon, with the Dragon here referencing the Bailang River (i.e. “Bailang” translates as “White Dragon”). The Bailang River is believed to be the cities’ very own naga lord, with its lair located in the Bailang reservoir at the south of the river.

Over the past two decades, ferris wheels have become a staple tourist attraction for many of the world’s largest cities. London, Paris, New York, Las Vegas, Tokyo, Osaka, Dubai, Shanghai, Orlando and Singapore all have their own giant ferris wheels. Weifang’s giant wheel will be the most recent observation wheel to be unveiled in the world, following Japan’s Osaka Redhorse that was opened for business last year.

China seems to have embraced the trend of building ferris wheels in their cities with bustling enthusiasm, and already has eight giant observation wheels installed in various cities across the nation. All of them were built after 2002, and the Bailang Wheel in Weifang will be its ninth Ferris Wheel – giving China 2nd place at being the nation with the most number of ferris wheels (Japan has ten, and thus holds the record for highest number of ferris wheels in the world).

Measuring 145 meters tall, the Bailang Wheel overtakes the world-famous London Eye as the fourth tallest ferris wheel in the world. While not the tallest wheel in the world, it is certainly the tallest wheel in the world that does not have central spokes. All of its 36 carriages will run on internal rails around the wheel.

General Superintendent Sun Xuping from China’s sixth engineering division – the team responsible for the project – explains how the spokeless structure works: “The body of the ferris wheel does not rotate, instead, a built-in running gear rotates the cars around the circle”. However, this isn’t the first spokeless ferris wheel in the world; that title belongs to the “Turn of Fortune” spokeless ferris wheel that was built in Zijng Park in Changzhou, east China’s Jiangsu Province unveiled in 2013.

Each capsule on the Bailang Wheel is able to carry 10 passengers and comes fitted with television sets and wifi capabilities to encourage tourists to beam their experience “live” on social media in the hope of promoting greater tourist visits to the city. The gentle ride will take exactly 28 minutes (very auspicious number) to complete one rotation.

From an eco-tourism point of view, a giant ferris wheel in a strategic vantage location of the city offers tourists the opportunity to take breath-taking aerial photographs during their visit. But from a feng shui point of view, the Ferris Wheel represents the WHEEL OF CHI, which the Chinese believe to be a fantastic symbol of positive transformation and good fortune.

Having a giant “Wheel of Chi” that keeps turning round and round brings continuous yang chi to the city and turns the wheel of change and progress.

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Wheels enjoy excellent symbolic feng shui connotations. Throughout history, the humble wheel has always brought about change that translates to advancement. For example – the invention of the water wheel gave farmers an ingenious way to extract water from the river and pipe them into farm land and provide steady streams of water supply to villages and townships that were not near the river.

The invention of the cart wheel enabled horses to transport cargo and people over long distances, making trade across cities possible. Early wind wheels (called windmills) were able to power the grinding of wheat and other grains… and these days, water and wind turbine wheels are used to generate electricity.

In spirituality, the wheel that never stops turning represents the spread of powerful philosophical doctrines that is the ultimate protection against all things evil. Buddhists of all Traditions refer to this as the Dharma wheel and the Turning of the Wheel is Lord Buddha giving his teachings.

Everything about WHEELS has excellent meanings, especially when analysed according to numerological feng shui. Note how this wheel will be the ninth ferris wheel in China, and the fourth tallest wheel in the world, creating the 4/9 combination, which is a powerful HOTU combination that brings excellent progress and power.

The number Nine signifies future prosperity and completion luck, and multiples of nine have been carefully incorporated into the Bailang Wheel design. Note how there are 36 capsules; 36 is derived from 4 x 9, two numbers which combine to create the HOTU as well. Also note how the wheel takes 28 minutes to complete one rotation; 28 is a Chinese homonym for “easy and continued abundance” and both numbers add up to the lucky SUM OF TEN!

On a calm day, the wheel makes a stunning reflection on the waters to reveal a perfectly unobscured figure 8, the quintessential symbol of prosperity! We can see great things manifesting for this city once the wheel goes live this month! Definitely, this beautiful landmark will bring plenty of visitors and good fortune for the city of Weifang.

In spirituality, the wheel that never stops turning represents the spread of powerful philosophical doctrines that is the ultimate protection against all things evil. Buddhists of all Traditions refer to this as the Dharma wheel and the Turning of the Wheel is Lord Buddha giving his teachings.