Temple fairs are one way to get a taste of the Spring Festival in Beijing. If you do not want to spend the whole week day-drinking and watching the entire 10 seasons of Friends that recently became available on Netflix, temple fairs offer an alternative: traditional snacks, stalls, and entertainment. Below are a few of the best that Beijing has to offer:
Dongyue Temple Fair 东岳庙会
Dongyue Temple Fair is a more traditional temple fair generally attended by a lot of the local residents living nearby. It features traditional Chinese acrobatics shows and other traditional Chinese performance arts. There will also be stalls selling souvenirs, handicrafts, New Year decorations all in the spirit of the sheep, and snacks (maybe also sheep themed, who knows). Also, make sure to take a look at the temple's wonderfully demented taoist figurines.
RMB 10, 9am-5pm (Feb 18-25)
141 Chaowai Dajie, Chaoyang District (6551 0151)
Chaoyang Park Temple Fair 朝阳公园庙会
One of the more’ international’ of Beijing’s temple fairs, Chaoyang Park’s temple fair features a Spanish circus, street artists from the Netherlands, Russia, Greece, Peru, and Chile among others, and it will feature exciting promotional attractions in relation to China’s bid for the 2022 Olympics.
RMB 10, 7.30am-5pm (Feb 19-24)
1 Chaoyang Gongyuan Nanlu, Chaoyang District (6591 5258)
Longtan Park Temple Fair 龙潭公园庙会
Longtan Park Temple Fair is a big and ram-packed with stalls of every kind. The park itself is also great as a day trip, walk around the entire lake if you have the time.
RMB 10, 8am-5pm (Feb 18-25)
8 Longtan Lu, Dongcheng District (6714 4310)
Ditan Park Temple Fair 地坛公园庙会
The Ditan Temple Fair is a classic (potentially one of the most popular) option. Featuring traditional snacks, handicrafts, games, and a lot of people.
RMB 10, 10am-5pm (Feb 18-25)
2 Andingmen Waidajie, Dongcheng District (8429 0142)
Happy Valley Temple Fair 北京欢乐谷新春庙会
Who doesn't fancy the idea of a temple fair at an amusement park? If you are a both a rollercoaster maniac and fan of Chinese traditions, Happy Valley Temple Fair will be a must-see. More than 50 Chinese acrobatic shows will be performed throughout the day, and a parade featuring the Chinese zodiac animals and popular figures in Spring Festival folklore will roll through the park.
RMB 160, 9.30am-8.30pm (Feb 19-Mar 5)
Xiaowuji Beilu, Chaoyang District (6738 9898)
Old Summer Palace Imperial Temple Fair 圆明园皇家庙会
According to the Old Summer Palace website, this temple fair is a recreation of late 19th century fairs when the Qing emperors would meet members of the royal family, nobility, court officials, and foreign diplomats at the Old Summer Palace for a Spring Festival. Expect lots of traditional costumes and a parade fit for imperial times.
RMB10, Feb 19-24
28 Qinghua Xilu, Haidian District (6254 3673)
Photos: wikipedia, tripadvisor, ebeijing, chinatours, bendibao
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