tried to visit mao at the memorial hall yesterday, but the hall was closed in advance of qing ming today, when visitors are expected to increase and his visiting hours are extended. so we waved and went on our way across to the tiananmen gate and into the forbidden city.
it’s probably for the best. you have to check all your stuff and sometimes the queues can weave around the building.
if you do want to go, definitely take exit A out of qianmen station. it’s a bit of an epic adventure to get into the square if you don’t.
I visited a few 庙会 (temple fairs) over the first half of Spring Festival. My favourite by far was the Dongyue Temple Fair, held at the Dongyue Daoist Temple in Chaoyang. It’s unfortunate it came at the end of my day, so I was tired and cold, but it was absolutely worth the visit. Unlike the other fairs I went to, although still very fair-ish, it was more fun (for me, anyway), and when I got tired of the fair (or cold from being outside) I could check out the attached exhibition of traditional boxes (part of the Folk Customs Museum), or wander around the temple. The Folk Customs Museum was very interesting, though mostly in Chinese, and I always enjoy a bit of Daoism in my day, reminds me of my childhood spent in Malaysia (and of Haw Par Villa, the GREATEST THEMEPARK IN THE WORLD).
If you’re picking temple fairs to visit during CNY, go to the one at Dongyue. Totally worth it (and a fun temple to visit). This was my mum’s favourite temple fair also.
Get there on subway line two, Chaoyang Station.
fireworks of cny day three; from the driveway to just above my head.
the sky today was crisp and blue and clear. aside from the cold it was easy to breathe and easy to see. tonight, though, the air is thick with the smoke of firecrackers, and fireworks. i was the closest i’ve ever been to fireworks (about a metre, maybe two), and it sounds like thunder outside, and rain, and sometimes like sirens.
walking home after cnye dinner with my parents and my sister, i saw three fire engines, sirens blaring as they raced through an intersection against the lights. there are cop cars at every major intersection, some with lights flashing, and cars everywhere are whining, their alarms going off repeatedly.
beijing is possibly the noisiest place in the world right now.
i’m sure i’ll get sick of it soon, but for now it’s kind of fascinating.
getting ready for cny in the house: the number of dragons here at the moment is pretty excellent (not all pictured). they are not all for me, though: some of them will be in melbourne in the near future.
my christmas present from the saturday crew at friends of the earth in collingwood. that chocolate is amazing (like fudge, only raw and vegan).
very special public service announcement: don’t forget to put the lid on your pumpkin puree, even if you’re only putting it on the heat for five minutes.
i didn’t even have to clean this up. :oD
rode my bike to christmas lunch today! lovely leisurely ride over at about noon; freezing cold dash home at 1900.
christmas morning in beijing: on my own (housemate still out of town). yesterday a present from the friends of the earth crew arrived, unexpectedly, and i cried this morning after i opened it. i sent some virtual christmas cards. just now crawled out of bed, doing some chores before christmas lunch with my beijing peeps.
i’m not a huge christmas person, but i’m missing it more than i thought i would.