Temple Fair

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Temple Fairs in Beijing can be traced back to 10th to 11th century. The Buddhism and Taoism were both developing quickly during that period. The royalty and common people were enthusiastic about religious activities. All believers went to the temples and hence the roads were crowded on religious festivals. Temple Fairs in Beijing were born at that time.

Temple fairs in Beijing saw a boom especially during the Ming and Qing dynasties (1368-1911). The most important religious activities were held during the Temple Fairs. And the Temple Fairs opened at a regular time each month in Longfu Temple, Huguo Temple, Baita Temple, Tudi Temple etc. They also opened on traditional festivals in Changdian, Huoshen Temple, Dazhong Temple, Lama Temple, Miaofeng Mountain, Dongyue Temple etc. They differed from each other. For example, Longfu Temple and Huguo Temple were famous for variety. Changdian mainly showed antiques, paintings, and snacks. Miaofeng Mountain were renowned for all kinds of folk performances like drums, yangko (a popular rural folk dance), stilts etc.

Temple Fairs today are mostly held during the Spring Festivals and the places for them are not all near temples. For example, there are Temple Fairs in large-scale parks including Longtan Park, Ditan Park, Chaoyang Park, the Temple of Heaven, Lianhuachi Park etc. The content mainly consists of entertainment, shopping and tasting snacks. They have been developed into the celebrating activity on folk performances. At present, the Temple Fairs are not only traditional, but also modern. For foreigners, the Temple Fair is definitely a cultural experience, because it airs Chinese cultures from a very detailed perspective.

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