The Temple of the Earth in Beijing
, is located in the northern part of central Beijing, around the Andingmen area and just outside of Beijing's second ring road. It is also located just a few hundred yards north of Yonghe Temple
. At 42.7 hectares, it is the second largest of the four Temples of Beijing behind only the Temple of Heaven
.It was built in 1530 during the Ming dynasty. Emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasty dynasties would attend the annual summer solstice ritual of offerings to the heaven.Directly opposite it, at the other side of the city, is the Temple of Heaven in Chongwenmen, southern urban Beijing.
Ditan Park Today
It is rare to see foreign people or tourists in the actual Temple of Earth in the park. The Temple itself is actually a very small (and underwhelming - when comparing with the Temple of Heaven) portion of the park. Aside from the Temple, the park offers a children's play arcade, water calligraphy (where tourists can purchase over sized brushes and "paint" with water on the cement.), food, and other attractions. The park is frequented by joggers and runners, and is a very popular place to do Tai Chi. Since the 1980s, traditional temple fairs have been held regularly during the Chinese lunar new year.
The Temple of Earth is the main temple in Beijing where people can worship the god of Earth.
Rituals And Events
The Temple of Earth was used for a specific purpose. Emperors of the Ming, and then later the Qing dynasties used the Temple for sacrifices which were used to appease the gods, who in turn would help the nation. These sacrifices took place at the Temple of Earth during the summer solstice. Some things that sacrifices were done for include good harvest, a strong stable nation, and good weather.
During the Chinese New Year (which usually begins on the first day of the first lunar month of the year) the Temple of Earth holds a very popular festival. The festival features thousands of red lanterns hanged on the many trees of the park, and thousands of locals and tourist flock to the park every year to participate.