The Small Wild Goose Pagoda
Located in the Jianfu Monastery that lies somewhere at the southeast corner of crossroads of Youyi and Zhuque south of the Xi’an city the Small Wild Goose Pagoda is a famous brick pagoda with very compact eaves put up in the Tang Dynasty. As the pagoda is a little smaller in size than of the Big Wild Goose Pagoda it is natural for people to call it the Small Wild Goose Pagoda.
Opposite over a distance the Big Wild Goose Pagoda standing in the southeast corner it has added much archaic yet thought-provoking relish to this ancient cultural city of Xian.
Built in 684, the 1st year of Emperor Ruizong’s reign in the Tang Dynasty the Jianfu Monastery was originally called Xianfu Monastery. Built by Emperor Ruizong for his father Emperor Gaozong in commemoration of the hundred days of his passing away, hence the name “Xianfu Monastery.” however, it was renamed “Jianfu Monastery in 690, the 1st year of Emperor Wu Zetian’s reign when the name of the dynasty was changed from Tang to Zhou.
At that time Jianfu Monastery was a temple of a huge size, striding over two street blocks of Kaihua and Anren and it covered a floor space of over 100, 000 square meters. The temple and pagoda courtyards were the two separate ones. The temple courtyard was located in the northwest was just opposite the south gate and the north fate of the pagoda courtyard was just opposite the south gate of the temple with a street in between. A fire brought down tile temple by the end of the Tang Dynasty. Being moved into the pagoda courtyard Inlet, the two courtyards were combined into one, thereby forming the size of the Small Wild Goose Pagoda Wild Goose Pagoda Temple as you sea in nowadays. The Small Wild Goose Pagoda was built in the period of Emperor Zhongzong’s reign (707-709 A.D.) in the Tang Dynasty and so far it has a history of over 1300 years. The pagoda used to have 15 stories with a height of 45 meters but in 1555. it suffered from the destruction in a severe earthquake. Now it stood about 43 meters high with only 13 stories left. The plane figure of the bottom layer of the pagoda is square with each side measuring 11. 83 meters in length. The Small Wild Goose Pagoda is a brick-structural tower with compact eaves. With no capital made onto the pillars round the pagoda wall each laver of bricks is made to jut out a little one upon the other, thus forming eaves on each story. And then on the eave is again laid with other layers of bricks with some of them in triangular shape. The pagoda body is gradually reduced from the bottom up to the top, forming a natural conic shape. With eared cabin on each floor the arched gates are opended in the middle of each story to face north and south.
There are flight of stairs in the pagoda for visitors to go up and down. With the at the bottom layer serving as entrance and exit the doorframes are built of stone-slabs. On the stone lintels are carved with flowery patterns of creeping plants and heavenly deities in curved lines of an exquisite and elegant style. The Small Wild Goose Pagoda has so far undergone more than 70 times of earthquakes. Particularly the one in 1847 ended by leaving a cleft on the pagoda body. However, another earthquake that happened 34 years later brought the cleft sealed up, which was then regarded by people as wrought by nature and the pagoda remained unchanged ever since. After liberation the pedestal round the pagoda was restored and the arched tunnel through north and south repaired. In addition to the strengthening of the sealed cleft the pagoda eaves, the cornered angles are also made solid and stinger. Inside the pagoda floors are paved with plank-boards with flights of stairs built to link them up and again a lightning rod was installed on top of the pagoda for its safe keeping.
Small Wild Goose Pagoda
Since the year 2009, during each Spring Festival Small Wild Goose Pagoda Scenic Area holds Spring Festival Fair. The highlight of the temple fair here is Praying for Blessing.
The Lantern Exhibition and Culture Exhibition show are also traditional activities of the temple fair. Each year the lantern exhibition set the theme according to the animal sign of that year. For example, 2009 is the year of Cattle so the lantern exhibition of that year set Cattle as the theme. Lanterns in various shaped cattle were on display. 2015 will be the year of Monkey, so we could expect to see various lovely monkeys in the lantern exhibition.
Each year different folk arts of Shaanxi and other parts of China also treat citizens with folk cultural feast.
In the past 6 years, the Temple Fair carried folk culture on stage, the on spot paper cutting allows citizen to know the paper cutting progress and citizens could even learn to cut a paper shade themselves. The well known Huxian County Peasant painters were invited to temple fair to paint on spot. The various color figures made of wheat dough express local people’s good wishes for the coming year. The Fengxiang County clay sculptures, ladle masks and graphic arts displayed special traditional aesthetic perception in west part of Guanzhong Plain. Leather Shadow performance introduced the most ancient opera in Guanzhong Plain to temple fair visitors.
The local snack is the third highlight of the Temple Fair. The various snacks are the favorite of children and young guys. Each one to the Temple Fair will get back home with some bags of snack. If you want to try as many local snacks or find as many Chinese tastes as possible, Small Wild Goose Pagoda Temple Fair is the best chance during the Spring Festival.
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