Temple fairs used to be an event of worship, in which people might pray for happiness, peace and luck. The modern temple fair has a wider variety of activities like eating, shopping, and recreation. For anyone staying in Beijing over Chunjie here, our sister publication The Beijinger has compiled a list of fairs to keep you busy and entertained.
Changdian Temple Fair
Beijing’s biggest, most famous, most influential traditional temple fair, Changdian’s attractions include handmade craft displays and performances including shadow puppets and acrobatics. This year Beijing’s fair of fairs has relocated to Taoranting Park from its traditional venue at Nanxinhuajie. Hopefully it will be as riotous as ever. Price TBA. 8.30am-5pm (Feb 2-8). 19 Taiping Jie (near National Ballet of China), Xuanwu District. (6353 2385) 陶然亭公园, 宣武区太平街19号
Subway: Get off at Taoranting station on Line 4.
Chaoyang Park Temple Fair
This is traditionally designated as the “international” temple fair. RMB 5. 9.30am-5pm (Feb3-8). 1 Nongzhan Nanlu, Chaoyang District. (6506 5409) 朝阳公园, 朝阳区农展馆南1号
Subway: Get off at Tuanjiehu station on Line 10 and walk east.
Shijingshan Temple Fair
Unlike other temple fairs around town, Shijingshan’s is full of foreign scenes, sounds and foods. Celebrate the exotic! Perhaps as a result, this fair is said to draw many foreigners. Nothing goes with foreign like foreigners. RMB 10. 9am-4.30pm (Feb 3-7). 25 Shijingshan Lu, Shijingshan District. (6886 2547) 石景山游乐园, 石景山区石景山, 25号
Subway: Get off at Bajiaoyouleyuan station on Line 1.
Yuanmingyuan Royal Temple Fair
In the Qing dynasty, this old summer palace was once among the most bustling places in China during Spring Festival. In its second year as a fair venue the debate continues whether the grounds should play host to fairs or whether it should be left alone as a “shameful reminder of a ‘weak’ late-Qing Dynasty.” The temple fair will feature showcases of the Qing emperors’ customs, cuisine, leisure and academic activities, and more. RMB 10.
8.30am-5pm. (Feb 3-9) 28 Qinghua Xilu, Haidian District. (6256 3659) 圆明园, 海淀区清华西, 28号
Subway: Get off at Yuanmingyuan station on Line 4.
Daguanyuan Temple Fair
This temple fair takes over parts of both the inside and outside area of Beijing Grand View Garden (Daguanyuan), with drummers, costumed parades, acrobatics and other ethnic and cultural performances. RMB 20 (adults), RMB 15 (advance). 8am-4.30pm (Feb 2-7)12 Nancaiyuan Xijie, Xuanwu District. (6354 4993) 大观园，宣武区南菜园12号
Bus: Lines 19, 49, 59, 61, 122, 351, 410, 414, 716, 816, 819, 922 and 937. Get off at Daguanyuan.
Ditan Temple Fair
One of Beijing’s biggest and most popular fairs, with hundreds of food stalls and a packed entertainment schedule with a variety of performances. This year IC cards can be used at the park for the entrance fee. RMB 10. 9am-5pm (Feb 2-9). Ditan Park, 2A Andingmenwai Dajie, Dongcheng District. (6421 4657) www.dtpark.com 地坛公园，东城区安定门外大街甲2号
Subway: Get off at either the Andingmen or Yonghegong stations on Line 2.
Dongyue Temple Fair
Held within a centrally-located Daoist temple, Dongyue’s fair boasts a huge number of food stalls, with cultural exhibitions and ethnic performances. RMB 10. 8.30am-4.30pm (Feb3-8). 141 Chaoyangmenwai Dajie, Chaoyang District. (6551 0151) 东岳庙，朝阳区朝阳门外大街141号
Subway: Get off at Chaoyangmen station on Line 2 and walk about 600m east.
Baiyunguan Temple Fair – White Cloud Temple
This is the grandest temple fair of west downtown. Baiyunguan is a Taoist temple that is more than 1,000 years old. The White Cloud Temple Fair is a buzz of colorful, traditional folk art performances and a very worthwhile Taoist culture exhibition. Sample from a bewildering array of freshly-cooked snacks with typical local flavors. 8:00am-4:00pm Feb 4-27 On Baiyun Guan Lu, east of the intersection with Baiyun Lu, Haidian Qu (1st right north of Baiyun Qiao, directly across from Baiyun Guan bus stop), Xibianmenwai, Xicheng District. 西城区西便门外白云观庙会 (010/6346-3531)
Buses: Take routes 320, 414 to White Cloud Station or 114, 308, 937 to Baiyunlu
Longtanhu Temple Fair
Fair events here are very similar to those in Ditan. There will be various interactive competitions inviting visitors to join in arm-wrestling, rock climbing and chess playing. This is the second fair that will set up IC card readers at the entrances. 9am-5pm Feb 2-9 1 kilometre east of the Temple of Heaven, inside Longtan Lake Park, Zuoanmennei Dajie, Chongwen District. 崇文区龙潭湖公园庙会 （67186358）
Subway: Take Line 5 to Tiantandongmen
Red Snail Temple Fair (Hong Luo Si)
At Red Snail Temple, aside from watching the temple’s ceremonies of worship, there are folk activities such as scroll writing, paper cutting and lantern-riddle guessing. Seasonal local delicacies including chestnuts, almonds, and xiyangshen (ginseng, a kind of fruit considered good for the health) are also big attractions. 8:00am-5:00pm Feb 3-9 Beijing Honglou Si, Huairou (6068 1175) 怀柔区红螺寺庙会
Buses: 936 from Dongzhimen (weekdays), 6 and 16 (weekends)