Temple of Agriculture embraces first harvest after years of suspension

Source:Xinhua

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A ceremony has been held at the Temple of Agriculture in Beijing to celebrate its first harvest from special farmland that's use had been suspended for over 100 years.

Dozens of representatives from all walks of life attended the ceremony.

The Temple of Agriculture, or Xiannong Altar, originally built during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), is an ancient complex where former emperors worshiped Shennong (Celestial Farmer) during the Ming and Qing dynasties. It has a history of nearly 600 years.

The special farmland located in the temple, called "Jitian" in Chinese, covers about 800 square meters.

After more than 100 years of suspension, the farmland was restored and opened to the public as a historic landscape in April 2019. Now, tourists can experience spring plowing and autumn harvest on the farmland.

Meanwhile, an exhibition with the theme of "stories concerning the farmland" was also held in the temple.

In recent years, China has stepped up its efforts to protect the historical and cultural heritage of ancient capitals. Many historical buildings and cultural relics have been restored and renovated.

Zhang Min, deputy head of the Beijing Ancient Architecture Museum, said that people will be able to gain a deeper understanding of the traditional and cultural significance of the historic landscape through this experience.

On Sunday, with the farmland open to the public and stalks of millet swaying in the breeze, a group of around 20 parents and children from 10 households participated in a harvest activity of reaping millet with sickles.

"From ancient times to the present, China has been attaching great importance to agriculture. I feel so lucky to be able to take my child to experience this ancient cultural tradition," said a 30-year-old citizen.