As one of the traditional temple fairs of Beijing, Baiyun Temple Fair is held in Beijing's Baiyun Temple from 1st to 19th of the first Chinese lunar month each year, during which visitors can attend many folk activities, enjoy the local snacks, purchase folk handicrafts and appreciate exhibitions of paintings. It attracts millions of visitors from all corners of the world each time.
Initially serving as an important fair for the Taoists, Baiyun Temple Fair is now celebrated by the locals, whose highlights include Meeting the Immortal, Throwing Coins through a Hole, Touching the Stone Monkey and Praying for Babies.
The legend went that the highly-learned Taoist Qiu Chuji (a legendary figure in Taoism) would descend to earth and release people with an affinity from suffering on the 19th of the first lunar month each year. As a result, pilgrims from all corners of the world vie with one another to pay a visit to the temple to pray for good luck and fortune, and they call it Meeting the Immortal.
There's a wood coin of one foot in diameter hanging at the entrance of Han Cave inside the Mountain Gate, which is painted golden with a bronze ring in the center. The visitors are encouraged to throw coins at the ring, and those who hit it are considered to be lucky in the coming year.
Walking through the arched mountain gate, visitors will see a stone monkey before their eyes. It's said that those who touch it will avoid illness and evil spirits in the coming year.
Yuanjun Hall is an ideal place for infertile women to pray for babies from the Lady Queen Mother, and those who pray sincerely will have a baby in the coming year, according to the traditional belief of Taoism.
In addition to the activities above, it's a good idea to try riding a donkey or sitting in a bridal sedan chair to travel around the fair. Not only can visitors taste local snacks such as steamed dumplings, fried bean curd and millet pastes during the fair, but they can also appreciate the traditional Peking opera, lion dancing, dragon dancing, stilt walking and kung fu show, and over 1,000 riddles which are waiting to be figured out by visitors. For those who are interested in the traditional Chinese writings, it is highly recommended to purchase writing brushes, ink sticks, paper and ink stones.
After participating in Baiyun Temple Fair, visitors are also highly advised to visit famous scenic spots in Beijing, including the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace and Tian'anmen Square.
If you are interested in visiting Beijing to participate in Baiyun Temple Fair, why not combine it with one of China Highlights' most popular Beijing tours. Or contact us and let us design your own Beijing tour based on your requirements.
Address: 9 Baiyun Temple Street, Baiyun Road, Xicheng District, Beijing 北京市西城区白云路白云观街9号.
Opening times: from February 19th to March 9th, 2015 (from 1st to 19th of the first Chinese lunar month).
How to get there: take bus 26, 45, 80, 319 or 717 to Baiyun Temple Station, and walk about 180 meters. Or take bus 9, 26, 40, 47, 54, 80, 213, 661, 662, 673, or 741 to the West Station of Tianning Temple Bridge, and walk about 200 meters.