Oh, temple fairs. Every year they are the sole cause of the same dilemma: to go, or not to go. On one hand you want to learn something new and do something cultural, but on the other hand you are very hungover, it is just a little too far, absolutely freezing outside, and the thought of jostling with a million others is the apparent realization of hell.
The government has the same fears, and has taken to limiting size of some of the more popular temple fairs. Safety concerns have increased following the horrific incident in Shanghai over New Year’s, and Beijing has put in place procedures and programs, Global Times reports.
Ditan Park and Longtan Temple have made the biggest adjustments, canceling their opening ceremonies and capping entrance at 90,000 people on the grounds at any given time. This is bound to lead to long waiting times for visitors, not only as people line up but presumably as officials try and figure just how many people they've actually let in already. Maybe they'll be using those special crowd control techniques that we've never heard of.
On top of that, Lianhuachi Park has cancelled its temple fair for this year, and Tiantan Park has cancelled its sacrificial (sheep?) ceremony (which sounds terrifying so we are kind of glad they did).
These are all in addition to some concerns we already had. Have temples fairs become a showcase of fake and over the top Chinese 'traditional' arts and overpriced snacks? Is it still worth going? Or are temple fairs ruined by commercialization and unmanageable mobs? I guess there'll be only one way to find out and that's to follow the crowd.
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