Beijing, China

The Temple of Heaven was built around the same time as the Forbidden City, dating back to 1420.  It was used by the Chinese Emperors to pray for a good harvest and well-being for the people of China.  He prayed for Heaven and Earth with sacred ceremonies.  In ancient times, only the Emperor was permitted to pray directly to the heavens, so his times of worship were highly celebrated.  Commoners were not even allowed through the Temple of Heaven gates.

Today, for a small fee, anyone can enjoy this beautiful temple complex.  Chinese people still use this area for personal and group worship.  On special days of the year, the entire complex can still be found full with people chanting and practicing various kinds of worship.

Right now, the inside of the Temple is lined with stone cow statues.  In days past, the Temple was lined with live cattle.  I thought it was because they worshiped cows, but I was wrong.  The statues are there to represent sacrificial cows.  The Emperor would look at the 25+ cows and choose the best one to sacrifice.  Lucky cow.

Colors vibrant and the atmosphere bursting with positive energy.  The Temple of Heaven complex was beautiful and I felt a very peaceful vibe as I walked around the sacred ground.

The Gate to the Temple of Heaven <– This is the gate to the Temple of Heaven

The Temple of Heaven is one of four important temples located in Beijing.  Other prominent temples include The Temple of Sun, The Temple of Earth and The Temple of Moon.