Beijing Residents Mark New Year at Temple Fair You've eaten scores of dumplings, set off a megaton of fireworks and lost all your money playing mahjong. How to pass the rest of the Chinese New Year? If you're like many Beijingers, you'll join the crowds thronging one of the city's traditional temple fairs.
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Beijing Residents Mark New Year at Temple Fair

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Beijing Residents Mark New Year at Temple Fair

Beijing Residents Mark New Year at Temple Fair

Beijing Residents Mark New Year at Temple Fair

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Stilt-walkers perform at Beijing's Eastern Mountain temple fair. Anthony Kuhn, NPR hide caption

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Anthony Kuhn, NPR

You've eaten scores of dumplings, set off a megaton of fireworks and lost all your money playing mahjong. How to pass the rest of the Chinese New Year, which traditionally lasts until the 15th day of the first lunar month? If you're like many Beijingers, you'll join the crowds thronging one of the city's traditional temple fairs.

One of Beijing's best fairs takes place on the east side of the city, at the Eastern Mountain Taoist Temple. Outside, dragon dancers and stilt-walkers perform, along with trained mice and acrobats. One courtyard is devoted to traditional Beijing street foods such as lamb kebabs, while another area features game booths set up among ancient pine trees and stone tablets.

In the temple's main hall, a Taoist orchestra plays traditional flutes and pipes. The noise of the crowds melts away amid prayers for peace and the smell of incense.