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The Image and Look -- Cauldron
2008-01-28

The Olympic cauldron plays a major role in the Olympic Torch Relay. The lighting of the Olympic cauldron symbolizes the end of the Olympic Torch Relay and the beginning of the Olympic celebration.

The Beijing Olympic cauldron is based on the concept of a "round heaven and square earth" and takes after a typical cauldron from the Chinese Bronze Age. The cauldron shares with the torch and lantern the design element of the "lucky cloud."

The 56 "lucky clouds" hollowed out of the curved plate of the Olympic cauldron symbolize well wishes to the world from the 56 ethnic groups in China. The base of the cauldron has four legs with eight faces, symbolizing that the Beijing Olympic Games welcomes friends from all directions across the world. The Olympic cauldron stands 130 centimeters high, symbolizing the 130-day duration of the Beijing Olympic Torch Relay. The cauldron plate is 29 centimeters deep, symbolizing the 29th Olympiad. The cauldron post is 112 centimeters tall, symbolizing the 112 years that have passed between the staging of the first mordern Olympic Games in 1896 and the 2008 Olympic Games.

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