Beijing’s lively Ditan Park fills at start of Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year

A host of Spring Festival celebrations will be happening around Beijing in the coming days, with one of the first being the annual Temple Fair at Ditan Park or as it’s also known, Temple of the Earth Park. CCTV’s Stanley Lee filed this reporter from China’s capital.

Beijing's lively Ditan Park fills at start of Chinese New Year

Beijing's lively Ditan Park fills at start of Chinese New Year

A host of Spring Festival celebrations will be happening around Beijing in the coming days, with one of the first being the annual Temple Fair at Ditan Park or as it’s also known, Temple of the Earth Park. CCTV’s Stanley Lee filed this reporter from China’s capital.

The annual temple fair at Ditan Park is one of Beijing’s busiest. The fair has shallow roots in Ditan Park that only go back to about 1985, but events commemorate rituals that reach back to the Qing Dinasty where sacrifices performed to give offerings to gods and spirits where held around the area. Modern reenactments are one of the most anticipated events there now during this time of year.

Chinese folk art like clay figurines and Thangkas are everywhere, with Chinese paper art and decorative New Years posters displayed all around.

“The posters from Weixian county are very gentle in color and rich in content design. They depict the lives of farmers in the countryside. I think the temple fair is a great platform to showcase this type of folk art,” folk artist Zhang Yunxiang said.

Artists from Shandong opened a massive 15 meter-long scroll painting depicting all the major festivals in the Chinese calendar. The scroll took two years to complete.

Local snacks as well as delicacies from across China were for sale with meat kebabs being the likely favorite. There’s a friendly rivalry between the Mongolian-style skewers and the Uygur ones. Fried doughballs abound, warm and dipped in sugar alongside fried beef tripe which are a hit.

It was actually the vendors who helped start the temple fairs. When vendors began doing business near Buddhist and Taoist temples where people came to worship during festivals the crowds grew and gradually turned into an official event.