Hi everyone :)
A YFU volunteer and most of the exchange students in Beijing visited the Lama Temple, which is the most impressive and famous Buddhist temple in Beijing. It even has it’s own subway station. Luckily the weather was really good when we visited it, so sunshine and everything.
The entrance was built the same way as the entrance at the Hutong. Red with many small paintings in Chinese style. We paid 25 yuan/kr. or 3,2€, which isn’t much and goes to the maintenance of the the temple. It was really beautiful and smokey, since you got a pack of incenses that you could set on fire and then they would send out smoke and a scent. You had to burn three together and they each resembled different things.
The middle one - Buddha
The left one - The Buddhist law
The right one - The buddhist believers
Then you had to wish while they burned and afterwards put them into one of the two dragon shaped containers. Incenses burn for quite some time so nearly nobody, including us, wait for them to finish burning. They put the sticks in the container and then they burn out down there.
Impressive fits the description of the buildings pretty well. They were painted beautifully and well preserved. Inside each building you could burn more incents and pray. It was prohibited to take photos inside the buildings and if you took pictures your wish wouldn’t come true.
As a sign of respect you shouldn’t step on the thresholds either.
Inside one of the buildings there is a wooden carved “Maidala Buddha”, which is 26 meters tall if you count the 8 meters buried beneath the surface. This rosewood Buddha has also been listed in one of the Guinnes World Record books.
If/When your wish comes true you have to come back and burn another 3 incents as a sign of appreciation.
Relevant Chinese vocabulary:
Buddha - Foxiang 佛像
Temple - Simiao 寺庙
Incent - Xiang 香
Smoke - Yan 烟
Beautiful - Piao liang 漂亮
Take care ;)