Temple fair

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The temple fair is a social gathering in China. Legend has it that it originated in ancient times when people offered sacrifices to village deities, and the ritual's location gradually evolved into a marketplace for people to exchange products as well as stage cultural performances. At a temple fair, people worship the gods and pray for blessings while enjoying themselves. Traditional shows such as cross talks, banner shows, kung fu shows and lion dances, all are staple features of the fair.

Beijing's temple fair originated during the Liao Dynasty (916-1125 AD) and first took place around a temple, thus getting its name. There were always some small traders and peddlers who set up various stalls outside the temple to earn money from people who came to burn joss sticks and worship Buddha inside. Gradually the temple fair became a regular activity and is now a local folk custom in Beijing. Nowadays, local temple fairs are generally annual events which take place during Spring Festival, or Chinese New Year, which usually falls in January or February.

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