Revived temple fair has 600-year history
Updated: 2015-03-05 21:21
By Xie Chuanjiao and Ma Weixin(chinadaily.com.cn)
Visitors have their cameras at the ready as an artist performs during the Fushansuo Temple Fair in Qingdao, East China’s Shandong province, March 3, 2015. Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn
With colorful oil lamps, prayers being sung for peace and prosperity and children being indulged with traditional Chinese cakes, the 600 year old Fushansuo Temple Fair brought local residents and visitors together from Tuesday until Sunday in the Shinan district of Qingdao.
Fushansuo was originally a large military settlement to repel Japanese pirates from the coastal city of eastern China. Built in 1388, during the Ming Dynasty, the area had a number of temples around which markets developed. Folk art and performances together with local delicacies became popular during Spring Festival.
After a short break during the Cultural Revolution in the 1970s, the Fushansuo Temple Fair has been revived through the efforts of the Shinan district government in promoting traditional culture and ancient heritage.
Today, gleaming sky scrapers have replaced ancient architecture as the city hall was relocated from the old town in the 1990s to vitalize eastern Qingdao. With the urban area quickly spreading outwards, now only a gigantic gingko tree is left to witness the changes after 600 years of existence.
In 2007, a nearby block was named Fushansuo 1388 Cultural Street to commemorate the area's glorious history. Antique stores, restaurants, food stands and arts shops soon mushroomed and the street began to accommodate the annual Temple Fair.
As holiday makers flock there, artists make clay and dough figurines, paper cuts, paintings, calligraphy and wood-print posters on site and invite on-lookers to join in.
"The fair offers a unique window for me to experience Chinese folk culture and it is full of fun and joy," said John Harris, a retired professor from Connecticut, US visiting the event.