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Temple Fair

Beijing's temple fair originated during the Liao Dynasty (916-1125) and continued through several dynasties including the Yuan (1271-1368), the Ming (1368-1644) and the Qing (1644-1911). Because it begins around the temple, it is called the 'temple' fair. There were always some small traders and peddlers who set up various stalls outside the temple to earn money from people who came to the temple to burn joss sticks and worship Buddha. Gradually the temple fair became a regular activity and is now a local folk custom in Beijing.

The temple fairs in Beijing may roughly be divided into three kinds: One is the monthly temple fair, during the later period of the monthly temple fairs the rural fair develops with many businesses and entertainment. There is also a temporary temple fair opened according to convention whenever there are traditional festivals or something related to sacrificial offering activities for Buddhism or Taoism. The characteristic of this kind of temple fair is that they are often held primarily for religious activities; however, some commodities and toys will be available for purchase, and folk entertainers put on performances. The third kind of temple fair is for multi-professions. In the past, many professions had a common practice of sacrificing offerings to their founders, once a year. Generally they hold the fair on the birthday of the founder of their own profession.

There is always a temple fair held during the Spring Festival. Various artistic folk performances, rich tasty snacks of Beijing and the folk handicrafts are the most attractive points of this fair. The yangge, stilts, land boat, lion dance all pass by in front of your eyes; playing the steel fork, tiger stick showing, gong and drum beating… performing again and again for your enjoyment. You may also buy clay, bristled figurines, dough figurines and paper-cuts, which are characteristic of local culture and Beijing charm. If you are lucky you may also find genuine Chinese antiques of fine quality at reasonable prices.

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Comments and Questions

when make fair temple and who make it.

Reply3/20/2012 6:32:42 PMprem kumar,   India

judy :3/20/2012 7:18:54 PM

temper fairs are usually held during the Spring Festival.
read the above article and you will learn more!