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Friday, February 18th: Temple fair

Katherine reaches for the camera.

I’ve heard good things about “temple fairs” but I can’t say the one we went to in Guangzhou last week was that good. It was actually quite disappointing. From other sites out there I get the impression that you can see lots of old Chinese customs and culture at these fairs. Originally they were largely religious, but over time the focus shifted to include a lot of business interests. Opera troupes would perform and markets would be set up. We expected to see dragon dances, opera, and Chinese puppets.

Sightseers and faithful alike gather inside a temple.

Three large Buddha statues in a temple. Note the size of the people in comparison.

For cameras today, Susan carried the D700 and I carried my F80 and F4 film cameras. Our lenses only went from a wide 14mm to 50mm. I had chosen the lenses for light weight over anything else. Since the film has not yet been developed and scanned, there are lots of photos of me and none of Susan. I’ll post my photos at some point in the future. Susan took all of these photos except where noted.

A man burns incense in a temple courtyard.

In line for some sort of food.

We got to the temple fair area about 9:30 which turned out to be much too early.  There were not that many people but there were fistfuls of law. Police were spaced out every 50 feet or so in some areas. In other areas, roving bands of police patrolled the crowds. During the Asian games the police had some embarrassing crowd control failures such as when the metro fare was made free and the metro system ridership unexpectedly exceeded design capacity. I wonder if the police were in force to be ready for anything.

Katherine and I in front of some sort of New Year decoration.

The temple fair was in between two fairly small temples, neither of which Susan or I have been to. There are more famous and popular temples in Guangzhou, so I’m not sure why the fair wasn’t elsewhere. The main temple had a fenced off area for VIP guests to sit in plastic furniture and listen to a band, but by 10, many had not yet sat down so the band did not play. Eventually Susan and I got bored and went out to see other things.

While taking a picture of Susan she snapped this photo of me and another person taking photos.

There were numerous food stalls in one area, but every 3rd or 4th stall was a Muslim lamb skewer BBQ.  They were all playing some sort of belly dance/techno fusion music. Some of them were wearing colorful clothing and dancing as well! We ate out way down the line trying the different meat skewers at each place and also trying sea cucumber. It was ok. The police made themselves useful by ordering the skewer vendors to turn down there music every now and then.

These Africans were mobbed by Chinese picture snappers including this well equipped photographer on the right, who then noticed the mixed baby and came after us. This is the only photo in this series taken by me.

There were very few people in the other areas and the second temple was not too crowded. We walked back to the band but alas, they had just finished playing and left. At this time we could feel some rain drops and I needed to go to school so we left.

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One Response to “Friday, February 18th: Temple fair”

  1. […] while back I posted some photos of the temple fair that we went to on Feb 18th. Since I was expecting to see older […]