Eight Immortals Taoist Temple

The Eight Immortals is a legendary group in Chinese mythology. Eight Immortals Taoist Temple, as its name indicates, is mainly dedicated to the legendary Eight Immortals whose power could be focused to either give life or destroy evil. The temple is located on Changlefang Street, Beilin District, Xi'an City. It is the largest and best-known Taoist temple in Xi'an, occupying 73,333 square meters from the main gate to the rear courtyard.

The Eight Immortals Taoist Temple was established in the Song Dynasty due to the legend of a scholar meeting the Eight Immortals on this site. It was repaired and expanded many times in succeeding dynasties. When the Eight-Power Allied Forces invaded Beijing in 1900, Emperor Guangxu and Empress Dowager Cixi escaped to Xian and lived in the temple, where they issued 50 kilograms of silver dollars to construct memorial archways for it. Today the horizontal inscribed board "Longevous Eight Immortals Taoist Temple" inscribed by Cixi is still hung in the temple.

The temple can be divided into three sections. The first section consists of Mountain Gate, Paifang, Screen Wall, the Bell Tower and Drum Tower, and five halls which were built to dedicate to the protective god of Taoism-Wang Lingguan. The second section is the core of the temple with the Eight Immortals Hall housing the color-painted statues of the Eight Immortals and the hanging plaque which is said to be the handwriting of Emperor Guangxv. The third section is the Doumu Hall with the calligraphy of Empress Dowager Cixi.

Eight Immortals Temple is a pilgrimage center for Taoist followers in the Shanxi Province. On the Double Nine Festival, Taoist pilgrims would converge at the temple to attend the annual temple fair that lasts for 3 days and the grand worship ceremony.

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