One morning we went to find the Pearl Market and get a strand or two of pearls. After a short bus ride which cost 2 yuan (you can go as far as you wish for 2 yuan) we found this huge 4 story building which had on the ground floor heaps of electronic gizmo shops, hard drives, memory sticks and that type of thing so we bought an external hard drive to keep our videos etc safe. Then we went upstairs and found there were hundreds of shops and stalls selling pearls and jewellery on the next three floors. We looked around whilst the vendors tried to get us to view their wares. They can be very persuasive and offer all sorts of special deals. Anyway we found a stall with a nice lady running it and spent some time with her before finally settling a deal for 10 strands of pearls.
Jewel even gave her a lesson in gemmology while we were there as she was totally unaware that garnets came not only in red but in green. She was most appreciative of the “lesson” as she also sold garnet strands.
So whilst she was stringing up some pearls for us we wandered (as Wombats do) over the road and into the Temple of heaven. It is a very large area. Covering an area of 2,700,000 square meters (3,529,412 square yards), the Temple of Heaven is larger than the Forbidden City..
As the ‘Sons of Heaven’, Chinese emperors were precluded from building a dwelling for themselves that was greater than the earthly residence dedicated to Heaven hence the difference in overall size of the two complexes. The temple is enclosed by a long wall. The northern part within the wall is semicircular symbolizing the heavens and the southern part is square symbolizing the earth. The northern part is higher than the southern part. This design shows that the heaven is high and the earth is low and the design reflected an ancient Chinese thought of the heaven is round and the earth is square
The Temple of Heaven Park is located in the Chongwen District, Beijing. Originally, this was the place where emperors of the Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644) and Qing Dynasty (1644 – 1911) held the Heaven Worship Ceremony. It is China’s largest and most representative existing masterpiece among China’s ancient sacrificial buildings. First built in 1420, the 18th year of the reign of Emperor Yongle of the Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644), it was enlarged and rebuilt during the reigns of the Ming emperor Jiajing and the Qing emperor Qianlong. In 1988, the Temple of Heaven was opened to the public as a park, showing ancient philosophy, history and religion. Its grand architectural style and profound cultural connotation give an insight into the practices of the ancient Eastern civilization.
The public relax here, practice Tai Chi, dance, sing and come to have their wedding photos taken prior to the wedding.
There is no problem with the Groom to be seeing the bride in her wedding dress before the day.However the dresses are hired and may not be the actual dress worn on the big day. It is amusing to see that under the lovely dresses they are wearing sneakers and jeans and other street clothes.
The Temple of Heaven is a huge public sacred park where the people go to relax, practice dance and Tai Chi and have their wedding photos taken before the big day.