Cycling The Silk Road In China – The Taoist Temple of the eight immortals, Xian

The day looked so wet and impossible to walk around, so we decided to hire Clarence, who also makes his living as a tour guide to Xian, for the day.
He already booked a tour with a woman from New York, named Lori and her mother Laurene, so we tagged along.

We went to see the Taoist temple of the eight immortals.

It is beautiful temple with many symbols, sculptures of the eight immortals and great design with an open Feng Shui, that honors the four directions, and allow energy flows from courtyard to courtyard, and archways.

We learnt about the four symbols, guarding the directions of the compass.

The black Tortoise (Black Warrior) = is the symbol of the North, Winter, Water
The White Tiger = is the symbol of the West, Fall, Metal
The Red Bird (Phoenix) = is the symbol of the South, Summer, Fire
And the Green Dragon = is the symbol of the East, Spring, Wood

There were some visitors, offering prayers and the burning incense gave the place an air of ancient mystery…

Outside the temple, the area was filled with fortune tellers, herbalists, advisors and shops selling funeral accessories, to burn or bury with the dead.

It is customary to offer to the beloved who just departure, a collection of things to use in the afterlife…. To accompany their soul during the journey, and to ensure a fortunate rebirth,,,

This may include all the goods and possessions that are highly valued in THIS lifetime…
Like sport cars, houses, money, nice clothing, computers, sound system, perfumes, etc.

All these earthly ‘goodies’ are made from paper, cardboard and paint, to imitate the real thing…

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