History of the Temple of Heaven

717 WordsFeb 3, 20183 Pages
History of the Temple of Heaven Temple of Heaven was built and completed in 1420 during the reign of Emperor Yongle. All subsequent Emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties used it. (David Leffman) The emperor was regarded as the Son of Heaven, the intermediary between Earth and Heaven. (David Leffman) Sacrifices to heaven were extremely important, to indicates His respect and dedication to the source of His authority. The most important ceremony occurred when the emperor prayed for good harvest, and took place on winter solstice. (David Leffman) After three days of fasting, the emperor and his entourage, wearing splendid robes, would make their way to the park on the day before the solstice. (David Leffman). The commoners are prohibited to perceive the procession. They had to bolt their windows and remain in silence indoors throughout the event. (David Leffman) Upon arrival at Tian Tan, the emperor meditated in the Imperial Vault. (David Leffman) The next day, he carried out animal sacrifices before the Throne of Heaven at the Round Altar. (David Leffman) Attentions to details were required in the rituals due to numerological theories. The ceremony had to be perfectly completed, for the smallest of mistakes would denote as a bad omen for the whole nation in the coming year. (David Leffman) In 1889, the Hall of Prayer was destroyed by a lightning strike. They believed that it was divine punishment for a caterpillar that was about to crawl onto the golden ball of the hall's

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