As the Spring Festival holidays roll in, why not use the occasion to understand and appreciate China’s traditions and customs a bit better? There’s no better way to do so than by visiting a temple fair and the good news is that Taiyuan is about to kick-off it’s biggest one to date. But what exactly is a temple fair?
As the name suggests, the history of the temple fair is rooted in China’s religious culture and has a long history. During the peak of Buddhism and Taoism in the Tang and Song Dynasties, believers in the two religions used to compete with each other to recruit followers and spread their doctrines. The first events to be held in temple fairs were dances and performances, but as time passed, vendors also began selling their goods, eventually transforming the event into a vibrant market place. Nowadays, temple fairs have nothing to do with religion, but are predominantly commercial events with money and entertainment in mind. Modern temple fairs have become a place to buy Chinese New Year decorations and snacks, as well as watching shadow plays and cross-talk performances
Following on from the annual tradition, this year’s major temple fair will once again be held at the zoo, kicking off on February 3rd and running until February 20th. This year, organizers have promised that the event will be even bigger than last year and brimming to the seams with traditional Chinese culture.
Traditional snacks sold at last year’s temple fair. Photo: china.com.cn
This year’s temple fair theme comes as no surprise: rabbits will be feature prominently in almost every aspect of the event. But besides rabbits, what else can visitors expect? According to inside sources, the fair will be beautifully decorated with red traditional props like lanterns and arches, a handicrafts exhibition will be on display and visitors can sample a delicious range of snacks and treats from both China and abroad. There will also be acrobatic performances and many other performances and events displaying the splendour of China’s rich customs and folk heritage.
Another highlight will be the various exhibitions. A special folk art area will be erected for the occasion which will showcase such traditional crafts as diabolos, sugar sculptures, traditional calligraphy paintings of flowers and birds, traditional textiles, kites, tile carving, opera make-up, lanterns and more. There’ll also be an ice sculpture exhibition area, a peony flower show and a science area, as well as shadow plays and more.
What’s also interesting to note is that this year’s temple fair has attracted the largest investment sums to date, so expectations are rightfully high. What’s more, organizers estimate that some 300,000 people will visit the fair so make sure you don’t miss out on the biggest event in Taiyuan so far this year!
Taiyuan Zoo 太原动物园 View In Map
Add:176 Jianhe Lu, Taiyuan
Entrance: 10 RMB
Tel: 0351 307 4953
Getting there: Take Bus No. 25, 830, 845 or 855 to Dongwuyuan
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Keywords: Taiyuan temple fair Spring festival events Taiyuan Taiyuan zoo temple fair Spring festival Taiyuan
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