Last week we have talked about 6 Best Cafes to study for your exam. But now, the exams are finally over, and this means that it’s already the time for spring holiday. You might have seen some of your friends already packed their bag to go back to their home country, or some of them will have their family to come over. But, how about you? Are you planning to stay in Beijing for this holiday and do not have any plan to go anywhere? Then, there is one thing that you should do, which is visiting Beijing Temple Fair.
At the temple fair you can see a lot of traditional performances, such as dragon dances, lion dances, and imperial performances like an emperor’s wedding. Not only that, they also have a great variety of traditional Chinese products, and strange Chinese snacks.
If you wonder which temple that you should visit to get the best experience during this event, then you will need to visit these 5 temples below:
- Ditan Temple Fair
The Ditan Temple Fair is the most popular and long-standing fairs in Beijing. About one million people visit it each year during the Spring Festival. There are reenactments of worship ceremonies of the Qing Dynasty (1636 – 1911) to the god of earth. Beside the ceremonies, there are a wide range of folk performances and activities such as puppet shows, traditional art exhibitions, dragon and lion dances, and acrobatic shows.
Reenactment of the Qing-Style Sacred Ceremony
The sacred ceremony is a unique performance at the fair. It aims to replicate the proceedings carried out in the Qing Dynasty to pray for peace and prosperity of the nation. The performance happens at 10 a.m daily during the fair.
It is said that of all the temple fairs in Beijing, the temple fair at the Temple of Earth has the best snacks. Every year numerous vendors will sell more than a hundred types of Chinese snacks, especially Beijing Local snacks. Some of China’s most honoured brands can be found here.
Folk Culture Presentations
There will be groups of both local and regional artists at that fair, putting on carefully rehearsed performances.
Traditional wood carvings, incense sachets, silk embroidery works, and other handcraft articles can be found in the Chinese handcrafts section. There will be live handcraft during the fair. The audience can observe the meticulous procedure of creating an elegant art piece.
Address: Ditan (Temple of Earth) Park, East avenue, Anding Gate, Dongcheng District.
- Changdian Temple Fair
Located just south of Tiananmen Square, Changdian Temple Fair is one of the eminent fairs in the city. It is got the essential mix of food, vendors, and performances to give you the authentic fair experience. Here you will find all kinds of stands selling art, calligraphy, tea, and other goods, while food vendors push carts through the crowds selling numerous local favourites.
Go here for: Buying art, tea, ornaments, food.
Admission fee: 10RMB
Address: Liulichang Jie, XuanWu Distrct
Getting there: Take subway like 2 to Hepingmen Station
- Dongyue Temple Fair
Dongyue Temple Fair had started as early as the Yuan Dynasty (1206-1368). The culture of “Fu” (good fortune) has been the essence of this fair. Many activities are entered on the “Fu” culture. Visitors can pray for good fortune at the altar, walk on the “Fu” road, or hang a “Fu” card to invite “Fu” for the coming year. Colourful folk performances, artwork displays, and snacks are also available.
Go here for: The exhibition of “Fu” (Good Luck) culture
Address: Dongyue Temple, 141 Chaowai Avenue, Chaoyang District
- Honglue Temple Fair
Want to more experience a more subdued, authentic temple experience? Escape the crowds in the city centre and take a bus out to Hongluo Temple in Huairou district. Take part in prayer meetings and connect with Buddhist culture, or enjoy the dance troupes and traditional snacks in the scenic temple courtyard.
Go here for: Serenity and authenticity
Address: 2 Hongluodong Road, Huairou District, Beijing
Getting there: Take bus 936 from Dongzhimen Bus Station, then take a short taxi ride to the temple
- Lotus Pond Temple Fair
Lotus Pond Temple Fair officials launches activities from the second day of the first month of the lunar calendar. On the early morning of that day, the majority of the people who got to Mammon Temple to pray are on bikes, expect for the tycoons and high officials. They wear silk cotton-padded gowns, with mandarin jackets or sleeveless jackets on the outside and small felt hats on their heads.
The pilgrims start from the Gate of Pervasive Peace inside the city to the south. They travel in the direction of the wind (because a north-westerly wind blows in winter in Beijing), but they have to head against the wind once they have passed the Gate of Pervasive Peace.
At around one mile away from Mammon Temple, booths selling incense, red candles and joss papers are ubiquitous on the roadside. The first thing to do after stepping into the temple is to worship Mammon. With incense smoke and lit the candles all around, a melodious bell also peals out in the temple.
In my opinion, these 5 temples could be your choice when you want to visit the Temple Fair, but you can also visit other Temples, like Longtan, Old Summer Palace, or Baiyun Temple Fair. Different temples will give you different experiences when you visit them.
So, which temple that you make interested enough? Tell me in the comment section below and I will tell you more information about that temple.
Have a great Spring Holiday, and Happy Chinese New Year 恭喜恭喜!