Jing'an Temple

Today we went to the Jing'an temple in the middle of a fancy commercial area in Shanghai. As you walk down the street it is hard to imagine that you are on your way to an ancient looking temple. We see expensive brand stores like Marc Jacobs and luxurious hotels. We see businessmen and young stylish kids. None of them giving the impression or feeling that we are getting closer to a Buddhist temple. There are sky scrapes everywhere and new ones are being built even higher. I almost started to wonder if Girlwing knew the right direction or if we were about to getting lost. But suddenly... there it is standing between the expensive mall and the sky scrapes.

You can see the temple here in the middle of the picture below. It is the houses with the ancient Chinese roofs. All around you see the sky scrapes and the x-mas decorated malls.

So what do you do in a Chinese temple? As a tourist you walk around and look at all the interesting details and try to take pictures without disturbing the local people or the gods. As a more or less true believer you will probably do the following...

Light some incense

When it burns you can blow out the flames and the aromatic smoke will get produced.

Bow three times to the north, east, south and west

Then leave your incense...

...in the beautiful "ash tray"...

...for others to enjoy.

Then you can throw coins in this "thing" and hope for some blessing or luck. If you are able to throw the coin up on one of the small roofs you will be more lucky. The higher you get the more blessed you will be.

Then we meet the fat and happy Buddha...

...and the rest of the gods...

...to whom you pray. You pray to different gods depending on what you want to achieve. The gods have different roles in life. You pray to one god for health and another one for a good hunting and another one for good results in a weiqi tournament.

It is an active temple with a bunch of monks

The temple is a collection of beautiful ancient style buildings

This is the newest building still in construction

In most of the buildings there are big rooms like this one with a different good statue in each. This is Guanyin.

Everywhere we pray to a lot of goods

A beautiful detail on a pole outside the temple. Probably not related.

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