China Pictorial (English)

Emperor’s Spiritual Life

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In the past, the back yard of the Forbidden City hosted not only residentia­l palaces for the royal family, but also many facilities to meet their religious needs. Like ordinary people, the royal family also celebrated festivals and birthdays, and worshipped ancestors and gods.

More than 30 independen­t Buddhist and Taoist temples can be found in the Forbidden City alongside many religious altars and ritual instrument­s. Historical archives shine light on the daily routines of emperors such as the temples they visited and the gods and Buddha they worshipped, providing a glimpse of their joy, anger, sorrow, and beliefs.

Forbidden City August 2021

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