Nanjing Confucius Temple, China
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The Confucius Temple, built in the first year of Jingyou (1034A.D.) in Song Dynasty. It had been destroyed by the flames of wars for many times and been rebuilt for several times. It used to be the examination site - Gongyuan in Ming and Ch'ing Dynasties. In the end of Ch'ing Dynasty, it was the place where sacrifices were offered to Confucius.
There are a few extant Song Dynasty architectures in the temple. When you stand in front of the temple, you can see a Lune pond in front of the gate. On the south bank of the pond, there is a screen wall piled with bricks, it is one of the three extant screen walls in Nanjing City.
On the both sides of the temple are tablets, people used for worshiping Confucius wife and his students respectively. There are many ancient buildings in the temple, such as Great Achievement Hall, Virtue Hall, Blue Cloud Tower, and so on.
Although the Confucius Temple is a place for study, still it is a recreation place. With many people comes and goes, it gets rid of the solemn atmosphere of studying. The temple renovated continuously, the Confucius Temple has become a cultural place where different entertainment takes place here.
People converted Virtue Hall into a theater that can hold 800 audiences. Peal Fragrance Pavilion has been a place for performing the story—telling. There is a Bird and Flower Market nearby. Either the old or the young are used to frequenting here. Here you can smell the fragrance of flowers and hear the singing of birds.
Many local flavors of Qinhuai are available near the temple. The foods are colorful and tasty, which have attracted many of the tourists. It considered as an important part of food culture in City of Nanjing. Besides, various handicrafts such as embroidery and "the four treasures of the study" are available in the Eastern and the Western Markets; it brings the thick cultural atmosphere for the temple.
On the river are drifting antique drawing boats. The residential houses along the bank have a lingering charm of classic. All these represent the elegant demeanor of the ancient Confucius Temple and let us muse over things of the remote past.
Jinling Lantern Fair, held in the Confucius Temple is on everyone's lip each year. When the Spring Festival comes, the temple becomes a sea of lanterns. The Lantern Festival is most charming. Different kinds of lanterns is for sale at the Confucius Temple, it is permeating with happiness of holiday. If you come to the streets and lanes, you will see many children singing songs and playing with flower lanterns.
The Lotus Lantern, the Rabbit Lantern, and the Kongming Lantern are the most ordinary. Most of these lanterns come from the lantern market of the Confucius Temple. Sometimes the activity of guessing the lantern riddles are held. The lantern fair held in the Confucius Temple has a long history.
The residents in Nanjing City always hold lantern fair in the first month of the lunar year each year. The date is between the 13th to the 18th. The trees in the temple are ornaments with colorful lights, which look very brilliant at night. Various lifelike and elegant models combined by colorful lanterns decorate the Confucius Temple and make it like a sea of lanterns. It fully displays the charm of folk art.
Today the Confucius Temple is a favorite resort for the tourists. It is a place where you can enjoy the ancient Chinese culture and get to know the folkway of Nanjing City.