Plan your winter tour in Beijing? As a foreign visitor, if you are in Beijing during the Spring Festival (Chinese lunar new year), visiting a temple fair is definitely a good choice to experience the traditional Beijing custom and Chinese culture.
Like elsewhere in the world, temple fairs (Miao Hui) originated and developed as groups of vendors did business near temples when many pilgrims came to pay tribute to the gods during traditional festivals.
Now there are over 10 major temple fairs held each year in Beijing during Chinese new year. Most of them are in the parks, wide streets and other non-temple areas.
Though some commercialization is greatly reinventing the essence of the Beijing’s temple fairs, and old Beijing culture is becoming a smaller part of the fairs, going to a temple fair is still one of the opportunities to know something about our Spring Festival traditions, why we do, what we do, and how Chinese culture makes us Chinese.
If you want to know what to see and do in a temple fair in Beijing during Chinese new year, then please follow me to the Longtanhu Temple Fair. Each temple fair has its own unique features, but much of the content is similar: four parts – Eating, Buying, Playing and Family Outing.
Eating at a temple fair
Each temple fair in Beijing will put on “Eating Olympic Games”. Longtanhu Temple fair is no exception. In addition, it does the best among all the temple fairs in terms of offering numerous kinds of Beijing traditional snacks and food.
Shopping at a temple fair
Most people go to a temple fair in Beijing to buy gifts or crafts for the new year celebrations. Many goods sold in the temple fair have typical northern features, such as toys like diabolo, pin wheel, knife, spear, sword and halberd…
Entertaining and playing at a temple fair
Family members, especially the kids are excited to play various games offered in temple fairs and watch folk performances.
Going to a temple fair is also family outing, a pleasant break from the non-stop eating and family events that characterize much of the holiday.
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Tip: Hassle-free Beijing Guided Tours
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours, here are some options for guided tours to Beijing:
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Any questions, just drop a line.