The handmade paper chickens, named "Boluo chickens" are the most popular handcrafts in the Boluo Dan Temple Fair. (Photo by Zhou Tao, Information Times)
Celebrating the birthday of God of South Sea, also named "Nanhai Shen", Boluo Dan is one of Guangzhou's most important traditional customs. The activity is also the biggest traditional temple fair around Guangzhou and Pearl River Delta.
This year, it is more like a "get-together" for Guangzhou's folk artists. 300 folk art performers from Guangzhou is expected to give five shows at the square of Nanhai (South Seas) God Temple from March 18 to 22, staging different kinds of local arts.
Besides, visitors can walk around the temple to shop for the handicrafts and traditional Chinese paintings and calligraphies, and have a taste of the delicious Huangpu foods.
The festival lasts for three days between the 11th day to 13th of the second month of the lunar calendar.
History has it that long time ago many people around Pearl River Delta made their living on fishing, hence came their gratitude and awe towards the God of Sea. In order to appease Nanhai Shen and to get the blessings from him, local people sacrificed fowls and performed a series of rituals and prayers on the birthday of the god.
As the time goes by, the festival now turns into an extravaganza of thanksgiving, sightseeing, and shopping.
About Nanhai (South Seas) God Temple
Nanhai (South Seas) God Temple occupies an area of three hectares at Huangpu's Miaotou Village. First built in 594, it is the only Sea God Temple left in China. Once the starting point of the ancient Maritime Silk Road, the temple boasts a tourist attraction named Sunbathing Pavilion, providing one of the eight famous views of Goat City (Guangzhou) in ancient times.