"Hang with the locals at the Temple of Heaven" Beijing Shi Things to Do Tip by gypsysoul73

Beijing Shi Things to Do: 106 reviews and 270 photos

This temple complex, which is the largest in China, reflects the ancient Chinese belief that Heaven was an ominpresent god of nature that governed everything under the sky, hence it was the venue for many sacred rituals and ceremonies to ensure good harvests. The most striking building in the complex is the circular Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests (pictured above and below). It is built on the precise location where heaven and earth meet, as determined by feng shui masters. it is beautiful!

Thousands of 100 year old cypress trees lend a serene atmosphere to the park that surrounds the temples. It is no wonder then that the park has become a favorite among the locals for recreational activities or simply to just daydream or ponder the sayings of Confucius.
By the east gate there was a couple who was joyfully twirling their batons of rainbow ribbon and just beyond them was an old man in serious tai chi mode. Kites danced above the tree tops in the distance and children bundled-up tight in padded winter clothing waddled after each other in a game of tag.

But the best surprise of all was the long corridor. The entire length of the corridor is flanked by locals in groups or pairs and even solitary individuals engaged in typical Chinese past times. Many are gathered in rowdy card games, Young and old alike are bent over checker boards, their brows furrowed in intense concentration, a man practices calligraphy on the floor, people are making music together;Further along I notice an old man with silver medicine balls which he rolls around in his hand.

Yet another old man in a brown fedora plays the erhu, a two-stringed musical instrument, while a group is playing with a jianzi or Chinese hackysack, a popular game using a shuttlecock.

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  • Written Dec 19, 2007
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