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Published: September 7th 2007
Before we say good bye to Beijing, we visited the Temple of Heaven. As you enter the park, there are hundreds of local people gathering together to practice different forms of exercise. There was an area for ribbon dancing, ballroom dancing, tai chi, kicking a small sand filled ball, and tai chi ball. I was very interested in the tai chi ball - it looked so elegant and graceful that I bought a set. I found that it is not as easy as the locals demonstrated but it definitely looks like it works ever muscle in your body.
When we stopped and watched the tai chi group, the master was constantly correcting various individuals like a military sergeant. She looked like Sergeant Carter in Gomer Pyle getting in everyone's face when they slipped up.
Once we past this group of people, we approached the Temple of Heaven structure. This is where the emperor would make sacrifices and pray to the heaven and his ancestors at the winter solstice. As the Son of Heaven, the emperor could speak with the gods and represent the local people and pray for good harvest. During the Ming and Qing Dynasty, the park was off limits to the common people.
The temple of Heaven was just restored last year. It look so beautiful relative to when we first seen it in 1999. The brillant blue roof that represent the heaven was so vivid. The gold stuppa on top of the roof was so brillant. What a shame that I couldn't take a single picture of the change.
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