Sunday, February 17, 2013

Snails on a Mountain

Inspired by our temple fair visits on the first day of the Chinese New Year, on the second day (so last Monday) we decided to venture out again on another temple visit. This time though, our plan was to just walk through the temple and then go on a "big hike" up the mountain behind it.

The temple we went to was called Hongluo Temple, also known as the temple of the red snail. I did not see any red snails, but I did again see plenty of red lanterns, people, and...stairs going up the mountain!

Welcome to Hongluo temple! The place is nicely decorated for the New Year. Simon blends in well with his red jacket.

People are trying to throw coins against the gigantic coin hanging off the bridge. Presumably this will bring good luck. (I doubt Suze Orman agrees...)

Life at the temple.

It's still very cold! In the background of the picture on the left you can see Paul (in blue) and Thomas (in black). 

"And behind door number 1 is..."

The Hongluo temple garden had a section with statues for all the animals in the Chinese zodiac. Paul (1970) and Thomas (2006) are dogs, while I am a proud tiger!

Happy Year of the Snake!

Also in the temple garden were statues of 500 arhats, people who have (allegedly?) reached Nirvana. I would be smiling too if I reached Nirvana.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8,...

9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21,...

We were puzzled a bit by the "Two-headed Arhat," until we discovered it was one Arhat carrying another. We also noticed some Arhats had fancy scarves, while others didn't.

My own handsome Arhats.

It's good to wear a coat in winter.

After all the Arhats, we finally went up the mountain. This was the last point of civilization (=snacks).

Up, up, up!

At least the view is worth it!

Nearing the top...

Hurrah, after a two-hour climb we made it!

View from the top. On a clear day we would have been able to see Beijing, but it was a bit hazy.
The way down is always easier.

At the bottom we walk into another part of the temple complex.

Here, you are welcomed by these two friendly figures. 

Again, good luck charms are everywhere!
The character "fu" (福) meaning "good fortune" or "happiness" is posted everywhere. 


Exit! We look back at the mountain we just climbed...

Last but not least we have some snacks (sweet potato, yum!) and finally find Simon's goat!
It was another happy day in the Chinese New Year. At home, we also happily recover from our adventures....

In het Nederlands: Op de tweede dag van het Chinese Nieuwjaar maken we een enorme wandeling bij een tempel. Deze tempel is ook weer prachtig versierd. In de tuin van de tempel vinden we de beelden die bij onze dierenriem horen. Paul en Thomas zijn honden, Simon is een geit (ookwel schaap genoemd) en ik ben een fiere tijger. Het jaar dat je geboren bent bepaald wat je bent. 

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