Town God Temple
In the temple, sits a statue of the town god. In the ancient times, people imagined that the city was protected by a god known as town god. It was believed that town god was empowered by the celestial ruler to exterminate evils in towns and cities and make citizens live a prosperous and happy life. Under his protection, people could live peacefully. People honored him as a god and believed that he would bring them peace and happiness. Even today, every year at a fixed time, people come to the temples and show their respect for their protectors by kowtowing and offering some sacrifices. Usually, there are one or two sacrificial ceremonies each year. The ceremonies are important occasions for both old and young.
Town God Temple enjoys a high reputation both at home and abroad by its long history and magnificent architecture. The Shanghai Town God's Temple was built during the reign of Yongle in the Ming Dynasty. The temple became well known and frequented by the Shanghai local in the Qing Dynasty. After the opening of Shanghai Port, merchants swarmed around the temple and surrounding areas and fostered a flourishing market. Today, the market of Shanghai Town God's Temple is rebuilt into a large-scale tourist and shopping center.
The Town God's Temple, known today as the Yuyuan Market, is really well called "the kingdom of snacks", has become an ideal place to taste all kinds of local snacks. It have pooled many local refection such as the distinctive desserts in Lu Bo Lang Restaurant, the steamed buns with vegetable stuffing in Song Yue Lou Restaurant, the pigeon-egg-like dumplings in Osmanthus Hall Confectionery Store, the Babaofan in Song Yun Lou Restaurant, the Nanxiang Xiaolongbao and the dumplings with the wine stuffing.
Besides, there are kinds of cultural and recreational activities in this area such as various exhibitions of flowers, calligraphies, paintings, bizarre stones, excellent folk performances of cock fighting, acrobatic performance and handwriting performance, and featured recreations also occur during traditional Chinese festivals.
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