I’m going to inflict upon you some more Spring Festival pictures. KW, JW, TG and I went to the Baiyunguan Taoist Temple on Friday. Baiyunguan is a bit different from the other temples I’ve been to in that it is still a functioning religious site. We saw monks around the place, and many people were making offerings.
The main entrance is festooned with red flags.
At this gate, there’s a monkey carved in the stone which is supposed to bring you good luck if you rub it. It’s been rubbed so much over I don’t know how many years that I couldn’t distinguish the shape of the monkey at all, but I rubbed the spot that everyone else did.
Many people offered incense for the various burners around the compound. This is one of the biggest ones; the guards and monks take the offerings and put them in the flames.
This is the beautifully painted arch above a doorway.
This wall has carvings of the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac. There was a line of people to rub them. Since the majority of people seemed to be selective about which ones they touched, I assumed that they pick the one of their own birth year. But I could be wrong.
I did not see anyone try to ridd this horse.
Outside the temple proper was a line of typical trinket booths, much like the ones I saw at Chaoyang Park and Ditan Park. And past that was a crowded street cluttered with food stands and less elaborate merchants selling everything from handcrafts to books to tools. I’m guessing the health inspectors stay away from here.
After that expedition, we took a taxi back to our part of town and went to a Greek restaurant for dinner. The food was decent, not outstanding, but the décor was very Greek, and there was Greek music playing.
On Saturday I went to a giant plant market in an attempt to bring a little life into my apartment. These fellows were outside the market. I think they might be for sale as garden ornaments, but I don’t have enough room for them.
Inside the big building were many aisles selling potted plants, including more orchids than I’ve ever seen in one place. There was a section over to one side where cut flowers were on offer, and there were also aisles selling various kinds of fish – for aquariums, not cooking.
I picked up these three. The one in the middle (isn’t that a cozy little scene I set up?) is a peace lily, but I would welcome any hints as to exactly what the others are. It was fun getting them all into a Hyundai Elantra taxi for the trip home. A man from the market brought them out on a cart, and the taxi driver didn’t think they would fit. But they did.
In the morning, it’s back to work, and goodbye to a week of holiday – though I did end up doing some work at home. I expect the fireworks will continue, since there’s one more week of festival. I think most people will be going back to work like me, so maybe it will be a little calmer.