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Temple of Earth

By china tour on 12/7/2009 7:42:00 AM | Beijing Tours

The Temple of Earth is located in the North part of central Beijing, outside of the second ring road in Beijing, a few hundred yards north of the Lama Temple. Occupying 42.7 hectares, the Temple of Earth is the second largest of the four Temples in Beijing, just behind the Temple of Heaven. Built in 1530 in the Ming Dynasty, it was a place for Emperors in the Ming and Qing Dynasty to worship the God of Earth.
For three thousand years, emperors pray to the god of heaven in winter and the god of earth in summer, for favorably weather and prosperous country. In ancient Chinese concept, the heaven was round while the earth was square. The Temple of Earth is shape of square, because it symbolizes the Earth. Meanwhile ancient Chinese people believe that heaven is round in the south, while earth is square in the north. Therefore The Temple of Earth is situated in northern Beijing, to echo with the Temple of Heaven in the south from afar.

At present, the Temple of Earth has become a public park. The temple itself is a actually a very small portion of the park. Aside from the temple, the park offers a children’s play arcade, water calligraphy, food and other attractions. The park is a very popular place to joggers, runners, and Tai Chi Players. Since the 1980s, traditional temple fairs have been held held regularly during the Chinese Lunar New Year. The festival features thousands of red lanterns hanged on the trees of the park, attracting thousands of locals and tourists flock to the park every year to participate.