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Hiking photos - Yajishan Temple Fair, 2011/05/04

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The morning that we arrived at the base of Yajishan, a hill whose name comes from the fact that the shape of the two temples on its summit reminded the ancient Chinese of 2 hair buns or short pigtails on top of a girl’s head – an ancient hairstyle that was popular for girls – the temple fair was already in full swing. First, we strolled along the streets at the base of the temple, looking at the many wares for sale. Many of them were objects for daily use, like toys, hair combs, etc., and others were for worship purposes, like incense.

There were also quite a few traditional snacks for sale, like rice cakes, nuts, etc. One thing that made the fair even more interesting was the fact that during its many years of history, Taoism has become mixed with some Buddhist beliefs, and that was reflected in the presence of quite a few Buddhist monks and their participation in the fair. Some of them even offered to tell passersby their fortunes! In exchange for a modest contribution, of course!

After taking in all of the sights and sounds at the temple fair, we started the hike. It consisted of an ascent of fairly steep and continuous stone stairs, broken up by visits to the various temples en route. At each temple, we looked at the statues of various Taoist deities on display and observed the worshipers as we talked about Taoist beliefs and some of the Buddhist ones that had been incorporated into it and which were shown in some of the displays at the temples. After visiting several temples, we finally arrived at the summit of Yajishan, from where we got 360 degree views of the surrounding hills and valleys. After visiting the highest temple on top of the hill, we took a leisurely path down and enjoyed a home cooked Chinese meal at a restaurant at the base of the hill before returning to Beijing.

 Some toys, Beijing Hikers 20110302-Yajishan Temple Fair, May 04, 2011

An example of some toys for sale; these were made from small gourds.

 some toys, Beijing Hikers 20110302-Yajishan Temple Fair, May 04, 2011

This local gentleman had gourds of all sizes for sale; some of them were decorated artistically with landscape scenes on the outside.

 Several types of rice cakes, Beijing Hikers 20110302-Yajishan Temple Fair, May 04, 2011

This lady had several types of rice cakes for sale.

 several types of rice cakes , Beijing Hikers 20110302-Yajishan Temple Fair, May 04, 2011

There were also light, crispy sweet snacks for sale; these squares are held together with honey.

There were carnival like games to play, Beijing Hikers 20110302-Yajishan Temple Fair, May 04, 2011

There were carnival like games to play at the fair too; throw the hoop around one of the rabbit cages and you win the prize!

The streets, Beijing Hikers 20110302-Yajishan Temple Fair, May 04, 2011

The streets were lined with locals selling things.

There were brightly colored toys, Beijing Hikers 20110302-Yajishan Temple Fair, May 04, 2011

There were brightly colored toys for sale for the kids.

Some trained monkeys, Beijing Hikers 20110302-Yajishan Temple Fair, May 04, 2011

Some trained monkeys taking a break at the fair. Some of them had even been trained to play tricks on their minder!

Hair combs, Beijing Hikers 20110302-Yajishan Temple Fair, May 04, 2011

Hair combs for sale.

A visit with the Taoist fortune teller, Beijing Hikers 20110302-Yajishan Temple Fair, May 04, 2011

A visit with the Taoist fortune teller. Hope he doesn’t have any bad news!

Locals crowd, Beijing Hikers 20110302-Yajishan Temple Fair, May 04, 2011

Locals crowd around to take in the sights.

Dumplings, Beijing Hikers 20110302-Yajishan Temple Fair, May 04, 2011

Dumplings were steaming in traditional baskets.

Freshly made noodles, Beijing Hikers 20110302-Yajishan Temple Fair, May 04, 2011

There were also freshly made noodles for sale.

There were plenty of things to take pictures of, Beijing Hikers 20110302-Yajishan Temple Fair, May 04, 2011

There were plenty of things to take pictures of, and sometimes we were almost as much a curiosity as the many objects on display!

There were both Taoist and Buddhist monks at the fair, Beijing Hikers 20110302-Yajishan Temple Fair, May 04, 2011

There were both Taoist and Buddhist monks at the fair; these faiths have become partially intermingled during their 2500 year history.

A view of the temples, Beijing Hikers 20110302-Yajishan Temple Fair, May 04, 2011

A view of the temples on the summit of Yajishan.

The village, Beijing Hikers 20110302-Yajishan Temple Fair, May 04, 2011

The village where we had lunch after the hike, with fairgrounds in the background.