Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Beijing 2016 - Temple of Heaven

Apparently, my entries on my vacation in China begs the question "Why China?"

Why not?

China has history dating back more than 2,000 years ago and I am sure most of who had been there would be in awe with both their past and present. You could laugh all you want but hey, it was us who had a great time in China. The haze is considerably minute compared to what we learnt and experience, which is why I am actually working on getting all the photos and videos to get it all together so that all of you could see although it may never be the same as first hand experience. I am looking forward to put the video together so that I could share it with my friends and family.

However, this is probably the toughest thing to do because I just do not know what music suits best!

I do not get why Asians are so sour on having their vacation in China. They be like 'Eee, why China? There's already so many here...' or 'Why China? Haze and all... So dirty...' when there are so many UNESCO Heritage sites to explore. Also, apparently, there were many angmohs to explore our east side story. Sure people were impressed when they hear me visit major cities like Dubai and Sydney but I am more than proud to tell people that I have been to Beijing and Xi'an. Which is why I rallied my family to go! They too were apprehensive initially but I sold them the Great Wall and the Bird Nest Stadium and they bought it. Besides, we have not been on a trip for quite some time. So here goes the continuation of my trip in Beijing.

The Temple of Heaven is an imperial complex of religious buildings situated in the southeastern part of central Beijing. The complex was visited by the Emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties for annual ceremonies of prayer to Heaven for good harvest. It has been regarded as a Taoist temple, although Chinese heaven worship, especially by the reigning monarch of the day, predates Taoism.

The Temple of Heaven Park was where emperors of the Ming Dynasty and Qing Dynasty initially held the Heaven Worship Ceremony. It is the largest and most representative existing masterpiece among China's ancient sacrificial buildings. First built on the 18th year of the reign of Emperor Yongle of the Ming Dynasty, it was enlarged and rebuilt during the reigns of the Ming emperor Jiajing and the Qing emperor Qianlong. In 1988, it was opened to the public as a park, showing ancient philosophy, history and religion. Its grand architectural style and profound cultural connotation give an insight into the practices of the ancient Eastern civilization.

The perimeters of the area is huge and before you even see a temple you will pass througha stretch of walkway to lead to you there. Along these paths you get to see retirees who spend their remaining lives socialising amongst themselves. My tour guide joked that they were there because there were on the waiting list to heaven. They may look old and frail. Despite hazy weathers in most parts of the year, they seem happy playing poker cards, dancing and singing and it has got nothing to do with getting engrossed on technology devices. I do not think they have one, or let alone need one!

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