Beijing Temple Fairs
Temple fairs refer to gatherings near temples, where activities such as ritual praying, entertainment and shopping are held. Temple fairs are the traditional festivals and customs of Chinese culture.
The formation and development of temple fairs were originally related to the religious activities of temples. Temple fairs were organized at the festivals of temples on certain fixed dates, along with some commercial activities. Gradually, temple fairs have mainly become shopping markets for common people so as to meet their needs of life. However, religious activities have become less important.
Shijingshan Temple Fair
Beijing Shijingshan Amusement Park has the most amusement projects in Asia. Shijingshan Temple Fair claims to be the "foreign temple fair". In addition to the normal Chinese cultural activities, there are Western performances, and food from America and Europe is served.
The foreign temple fair makes it possible for Chinese people to appreciate the sceneries, customs and local cultures of the Western world without going abroad. It also enables foreigners to celebrate Chinese festivities in Beijing, and to experience the hometown atmosphere in China.
Dragon Spring Temple Fair of Fenghuang Mountain
Dragon Spring Temple Fair of Fenghuang Mountain highlights the serial activities of the temple during the Spring Festival Blessing, including blessings for fortune and health, the Dragon Spring Temple meetings, vegetarian food and Pingan noodles. Tourists can take the occasion of New Year to make good wishes for the coming year, or for families, friends and themselves.
The entertainment activities of the temple fair are also combined with the folk customs of Fenghuang Mountain. They present flower shows of a local flavor, which enable tourists to experience the strong sense of culture in the temple fair activities.
Old Summer Palace Temple Fair
Old Summer Palace Temple Fair has a long history. Early in the Ming and Qing dynasties, especially during the flourishing reign of Emperor Qianlong, apart from granting banquets and rewards to the dukes and ministers by the emperor, various kinds of celebratory activities would also be held in the palace, such as light operas, wrestling, equestrianism, acrobatics and fire performances.
With the theme of "experiencing royal life" and on the basis of traditional temple fairs, such as the Chinese Spring Festival, the Old Summer Palace Temple Fair introduces court life. It forms a distinctive style of royal temple fair in Beijing. Within the fair, the sceneries stand out for the unique culture of the royal family and Machu people. They are mainly decorated with such elements as palace lanterns, dragon columns and dragon flags.
Lotus Pond Temple Fair
Lotus Pond Temple Fair officially 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 go to Mammon Temple to pray are on bikes, except 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 mostly 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 candles all around, a melodious bell also peals out in the temple.
Distinctive Features of the Temple FairsCharacterized by folk culture activities such as folk skills, collections and flower shows, the temple fairs reproduce the folk customs and sceneries of Beijing.
Questions and Answers About Beijing Temple Fairs
- Send your inquiry January 1 – February 28, 2014, and we will email you a US$30 coupon.
- The coupon is valid till December 31, 2014, for paying tour packages worth US$300 or up.
- The coupon cannot be used for paying flight tickets, train tickets, hotel rooms and day trips.
- The coupon cannot be combined with any other coupons, promotions or discounts.
I updated this article on January 13, 2014
See all my travel articles
- Beijing Things To Do
- Top Things to Do
- Top Reasons to Visit
- Things to Do With Kids