Spring Festival's temple fairs

February 05, 2010 | Posted by Chris

Preparations are well underway for next week's Spring Festival -- informally known as Chinese New Year -- and in Beijing there will be no fewer than 63 temple fairs, according to Xinhua News. This number of temple fairs will be the most the city has ever featured in one year's celebrations, and there are plans to host of number of events online for the first time. Temple fairs, which have been a Spring Festival tradition in Beijing for centuries and originated as large gatherings at religious temples during the New Year, today are large fairs at which goods and other treats are sold. It is difficult to overstate how meaningful temple fairs are to the observation of Chinese New Year -- many locals will tell you that nothing recalls fond childhood memories better than the hustle and bustle of temple fairs and the traditional snacks they sell. In addition to the fairs, blockbuster movies with cultural themes will be featured at over 70 cinemas throughout the city, and a number of museums, including the Capital Museum and the Beijing Folk Arts Museum, will allow admission free of charge. Many TV shows will also be specially produced for Spring Festival, and numerous other events will feature activities like opera, calligraphy, painting and even text messaging.

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