Anhui in My Eyes
The mystery of Anhui’s Huashan Caves
In summer, it's time for crayfish
Enchanted by waters of the Huangshan Furong Valley
Old streets in Anhui serve as a repository of history
  E-mail your travel notes to:
Home> About Anhui
About Jiuhua Mountain Temple Fair

The Jiuhua Mountain temple fair can be traced back to the Tang Dynasty. According to legend, in the late Kaiyuan year of Tang Dynasty, monk Jin Qiaojue from Silla country (now South Korea) arrived at the mountain to set up a Dizang (or Earth Store) Bodhisattva monastery.

After 75 years of ascetic practices and meditations of the Dharma, he passed away at the age of 99 on July 30 of the lunar calendar. His dead body was put in a vat for three years yet remained uncorrupted. His body remained intact and his joints sounded like a gold lock when shaken.

According to Buddhist scriptures, the sound of a gold lock from a corpse means Buddha’s reincarnation. Therefore his disciples honored him as the gold Dizang, believing he was the reincarnated Dizang Bodhisattva. They then built a pagoda for his flesh in Shenguan Ridge of Jiuhua Mountain to worship him.

About Jiuhua Mountain Temple Fair
The statue of Dizang Buddha at the foot of Jiuhua Mountain

Every year on July 30 of the lunar calendar, believers and pilgrims from around the world would go on a pilgrimage to offer incenses and to worship the pagoda as well as the Heavenly Terrace. Meanwhile, many villagers and craftsmen also took the occasion to do business whilst folk artists gave performances, which has gradually shaped the traditional Jiuhua Mountain temple fair.

Grand celebrations are held at each fair at Jiuhua Mountain. The temples in the mountain, big or small, one after another, hold Buddhist services such as "the Bodhisattva Figure Consecration ", "Temple Abbot Appointment" and "DaDizangQi (seven-day dharma study and practices)", “DaFoQi (seven-day Buddhist services)" and “Land-water Dharma Assembly". This is where the sounds of chanting fill the mountain air, an unprecedented scene that mustn’t be missed. A spectacular ceremony to observe the flesh is also held where monks chant while circling the pagoda throughout the day and night ablazed in lights.

The temple fair was once prohibited during the Cultural Revolution. In 1978, the "Dizang Dharma Assembly and the alternative “Prayer Meeting for World Peace” were restored. Since 1983, Jiuhua Mountain Management Office (now the Management Committee), and Jiuhua Mountain Buddhist Association have started to co-host the temple fair which combines Buddhist activities with tourism, trade and commerce. The fair has gradually become a distinctive festival with local characteristics.

As early as the 1990s, the temple fair was listed by the National Tourism Administration as one of China’s major tourism festivals. In 2006, "Jiuhua Mountain Traditional Temple Fair" was included in the list of "Intangible Cultural Heritage of Anhui Province." It is now a well-known and influential event both at home and abroad.