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Beijing Temple Fairs

Beijing Temple Fairs

The “Temple fairs” (Miao hui) in Beijing evolved from groups of vendors doing business around temples when many people pay tribute to gods during traditional festivals. This practice developed into a regular event that is seen today. Temple fairs are exciting destinations for Chinese people during festivals, especially during the Spring Festival. Temple fairs are considered an intangible cultural experience in China. You will not want to miss the opportunity to visit these fairs.

Beijing temple fairs date back to 1,000 years, when “temple fairs” were called “spring outings.” They became popular in the Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties. Emperors from these Dynasties often held spring outings during the Chinese New Year. Today, going to the temple fairs during the Spring Festival is routine for residents in Beijing.

The temple is often crowded with people during the temple fairs. In the temple fairs in Beijing, there are exciting performances. Also, there are stalls set up to sell traditional arts and crafts. There are many games to play and food to eat in temple fairs. Most temple fairs are featured with dragon and lion dances as well as other folk performances. For visitors attending temple fairs are an unforgettable cultural experience because they show Chinese culture in a detailed and vivid way. While enjoying Chinese delicacies, you can appreciate the handcrafts and artworks displayed by local artists there.

The following fairs listed below are the most well-known temple fairs in Beijing. The theme or feature of each temple is different than one other, and the fairs of a temple vary annually. Below is a brief introduction of each temple fair and its features.

Ditan Park Temple Fair

Ditan Park Temple Fair is one of Beijing’s oldest and busiest temple fairs since 1985. Ditan Park is the site of the altar where sacrifices were offered to the Earth God. Handcrafts with various features from different Provinces are displayed here.

Longtanhu Temple Fair

Longtanhu Temple Fair is the best choice for tasting traditional Chinese snacks. You can enjoy traditional Beijing sweet cakes and other snacks made from animal parts including, stir-fried liver, bitter flapjack and fried cow stomach, and so on. Also, they sell Chinese New Year paintings, handcrafts, and various kinds of dried fruit. There are interactive games to play chess.

Changdian Temple Fair

Changdian Temple Fair is popular among Beijing residents during the Spring Festival. It is a platform for people to sell or buy paintings, calligraphic works, antiques, toys, food products and so on. Acrobatics, magic shows and opera are provided as entertainment at this temple fair. Beijing folk performances are presented including, puppet and shadow shows, among others. This temple fair is the most popular fair among foreigners.

Daguanyuan Temple Fair

Daguanyuan Temple Fair is one of the most well-known temple fairs held in Daguanyuan garden, an imperial family described in the Chinese classic book, “A Dream of Red Mansions” written by Cao Xueqin. During this fair, some parts of the novel are performed. There are exhibitions on woodblock prints and matchboxes. There are also shows on folk art, Kungfu, as well as the “two-people show” from northeastern China.

Baiyunguan Temple Fair

Baiyunguan Temple Fair is one of the longest fairs in Beijing. Baiyungaun is a Taoist temple that is more than 1,000 years old. Its unique architectural style is one of its most distinguishing features. Baiyunguan Temple is the only temple that hosts a fair within an actual temple.

Shijingshan Amusement Park Temple Fair

The Shijingshan temple fair is held inside an amusement park. Thus, there are many entertaining activities at this temple fair compared to other temple fairs. It is often seen as a foreign-style temple fair. It is similar to a carnival held in many countries. There are many things you can do to play and eat.

Dongyue Temple Fair

Dongyue Temple Fair is one of the oldest temple fairs in Beijing. The culture of “Good Fortune” is the theme of this temple fair. At this temple there are lion dances and Dongyue temple music performances.

Lianhuachi Temple Fair

Lianhuachi (Lotus Pond) Park has a history of more than 3,000 years. The temple fair is traditional and original. With many events and activities, it is an ideal place to enjoy Chinese folk art and food. At this temple fair there are acrobatics and other performances that visitors will find interesting.

Chaoyang Temple Fair

Chaoyang Temple Fair has a distinctive foreign style. In addition to local performances, many performance groups come from countries like, UK and Russia to perform there. There, people can play games, ski, and enjoy food from various countries.