Feb 23, 2015 at 11:28 AM
The Temple of Heaven was built in 1420 during the Ming Dynasty emperors as Chinese could offer a sacrifice to heaven at the winter solstice, thanking heaven for the generosity of the previous year and request for next year. The temple complex covers nearly 3 million square meters and is enclosed within a long wall. Chinese emperors called themselves "The Son of Heaven" and did not dare to build their own housing (Forbidden City) larger than a temple abode for heaven. The northern part of the temple complex is semicircular, symbolizing heaven, and is higher than the south, which is square, symbolizing the earth. The temple complex is an aggregation of many buildings, including the Circular Altar (Yuanqiutan), the Imperial Vault of Heaven (Huangqiongyu) and the Hall of Prayer for God's Harvest (Qiniandian) containing twenty huge positions; the four poles along the inner circle representing the four seasons; twelve positions along the middle circle represent the twelve monts; and the twelve positions along the outer circle representing the twelve Shichen ("hour" Chinese, each consisting of two western hours). The roof is covered with black, yellow and green, representing the enamel covered skies, the earth and everything on earth. Smaller structures include the three stones Echo and Echo Wall. A wide bridge called the Vermillion Steps Bridge (Danbiqiao, or "Sacred Way") almost all buildings are connected. The Chinese believed that the emperor could go to heaven through this bridge; Yu Road was reserved for the emperor; Wang Road on the other side was for the princes and senior officials ".
Feb 21, 2015 at 09:19 AM
Temple of Heaven Ceremony: The Temple of Heaven is where emperors of Ming and Qing dynasties worshiped heaven and prayed for abundant harvests. Each year at the winter solstice, the emperor offered a sacrifice to bring good fortune in the coming year and maintain harmony with heaven. It was the most important event calendar Emperor. In the spring of Emperor presided over a ceremony harvest, designed to ensure good harvests in the following autumn. Each ceremony was held in his own altar in the Temple of Heaven. Before the ceremony worshiping Heaven on the winter solstice, the emperor entered the Hall of abstinence in the Imperial Palace in the Forbidden City to pray and fast. For three days the Emperor could not eat meat or drink wine, have contact with women, celebrate and take care of legal matters. After spending some time in the Imperial Vault, ritually communication with the gods before spending the night in the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest On the day of the ceremony, the emperor traveled with an entourage that included cars elephant, champions, horse drawn carriages, nobles, musicians and acrobats to the altar where the ceremony was held. In a ceremony that was closed to the public Emperor sang prayers and presided over the slaughter of animals in sacred tables in a round altar of heaven. ...