Temple of Heaven
Dr. David Silber 19.08.2010 rerelease 23.05.13
The Temple of Heaven is a UNESCO world heritage sight and is centered in the temple of heaven park. It is unique for its architecture and a popular tourist destination. The temple complex was founded, like the forbidden city, in the 15th century. In contrast to the forbidden city the temple of heaven is a holly place. The largest building is the Hall of Prayer for good Harvest, where the emperor had to pray every year. The Temple as well as the Hall of prayer symbolizes the relationship between earth and heaven. In ancient China people believed that the emperor is the son of heaven and therefore it was important for him to show respect to his father, the heaven.
In the popular temple of Heaven Park you can see kids playing hula-hoop and jumping rope. Adults were dancing, singing, playing badminton, practicing taichi or kite flying. What I found most remarkable was, that some old people were playing hacky sack and that they were really good at it. One sixty year old grandfather performed some tricks I have never seen before and which were absolutely incredible to watch.
In Germany playing footbag is something only teenagers do to pass time. However, my colleagues told me that playing hacky sack (or ti chian zi) is a fun game both kids and adults like to play. The idea is that you throw a small ball (sometimes with feathers) in the air and keep it there by bouncing it from your feet, knees, elbows or head.