Built between 1402-1406 the Temple served as the main place of worship for the Emperor, who was considered "The Son of Heaven" and as such administered on behalf of the Divine all worldly things.
Built for the purpose of praying for good harvests, twice a year the Emperor and his entourage would decamp from the Forbidden City to set up household within the complex. On pain of death no ordinary Chinese were allowed to witness either the procession or the hocus pocus afterwards.
In the time spent within the Temple, the royal household were required to abstain from eating meat or fish.
I have no idea.
Impressive as the Temple itself is, much of the fun of visiting takes place in the gardens surrounding it.
Its a gathering place for the good people of Beijing, and even though it was freezing on the Sunday we visited, they were out in force (ish).
The touching sight of the day came within earshot of the little device below.
A combination of Chinese/ pop/ballroom/classical music boomed (surprisingly loud) from the speakers.
Scattered, here and there were singles/couples/ groups dancing up a storm.
Some were in time with the music.
Some were in time with their own music in their heads.
All appeared to be enjoying themselves.
No one hawking anything or performing for money: just laughter and exercise.
No hint of self- consciousness or embarrassment.
Innocent and lovely.
That's it for China.
Next stop Jakarta in the wee hours of the morning.
Its cold in HK and about 25 degrees warmer in Indonesia.
Given my $3000/month flat has no heat that's a good thing.
I'll post pictures if I get a decent Internet connection or (more importantly) the time to get off a few pictures.
Love to all and stay warm wherever you are.