Sunshine, Beers and the Baoguang Monastery
The weather has now seen some improvement in Chengdu and we were blessed with several days of blue skies last week. Spring has finally arrived!
Paul, our Chengdu Office Manager decided to bring back Friday beers and it was the perfect Friday to kick start the old tradition. The office interns and the other Chengdu interns gathered on the rooftop to admire the view and appreciate the seldom blue sky, whilst of course enjoying each other’s company and drinking beer.
After our rooftop get-together we went our separate ways to have dinner but met again for more beers at a bar. Here, Paul taught us all a Chinese drinking game that is very popular amongst the Chinese. You will see it being played everywhere in bars and clubs across China! Our interns were all concentrating hard and got really involved in the game but we called for an early night as we had to be up bright and early the next day for our trip to the Baoguang Monastery in Xindu.
We met at the office at 9:30am to depart for our trip. Several journeys by public transport and a squeeze in a Chinese Tuk Tuk later, we arrived at our destination for a mere 8RMB each!
At the entrance to the monastery, there was a crowd of people lined up in front of a wall where the character 福, fú, was painted. One by one, people walked towards it, with their eyes closed, in hope that they would be able to touch the character. They believed that if they were successful, they will be blessed with good fortune for the upcoming year. One Chinese man, managed to only touch the corner of the green area where the character was painted and shouted ‘还是福!’, háishì fú, which translates to ‘it is still part of it!’. He walked away very pleased with himself.
At the monastery there were several things to see, there were people burning incense sticks and praying, others making full circles around the leaning pagoda for luck. There was also a large room which consisted of 108 arhats, here you would find people counting the Arhats according to their age. If you entered this room using your left leg, you should move around the room starting from your left and and vice versa if you entered the room with your right leg. We all made note of our Arhat and once we left the room we were able to purchase that card which then told us our horoscope!
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