In traditional Chinese culture, the dragon represents positivity, self-improvement, and great achievements. As a symbol of the Chinese nation's spirit and culture, there are countless idioms related to dragons. From ancient palaces to ordinary households, the image of the dragon has penetrated into every aspect of people's daily life.
Despite famous attractions in Summer Palace, such as Kunming Lake, Suzhou Street, Zhichun Pavilion and the Seventeen-Arch Bridge, on Nanhu Island, connected by the Seventeen-Arch Bridge in the Summer Palace, there is a 'Dragon King' Temple - Guangrun Lingyu Temple.
In traditional Chinese culture, the dragon is regarded as a sacred existence and is highly respected. People believe that the dragon can bring rain and a good harvest. For thousands of years, people have built many Dragon King Temples to pray for good weather.
Nowadays, with the development of technology, people generally no longer worship these "gods," but Beijing still retains some Dragon King Temples. They are not only treasures of architectural art but also witnesses of history, carrying the beliefs and expectations of our ancestors for a better life.
There is a tree-lined island in Kunming Lake in the Summer Palace, named Nanhu Island because it is located in the south of Kunming Lake. The Dragon King Temple on the island was also preserved as a place for praying for rain in the Summer Palace and was renamed "Guangrun Temple." Later, because of its "effectiveness in praying for rain," Kunming Lake was renamed "West Sea," and "Guangrun" was the name of the Dragon King of West Sea. Emperor Jiaqing personally changed the title of the temple to "Guangrun Lingyu Temple" (commonly known as the Dragon King Temple). Emperors such as Qianlong, Jiaqing, Daoguang, and Xianfeng all personally or sent royal ministers to burn incense and pray for rain here.
Today, the Dragon King Temple in the Summer Palace is popular with tourists for its profound historical and cultural heritage and unique architectural charm. This temple not only carries the ancient people's respect and belief in dragons but also witnesses the changes in history. Every brick and tile of the Dragon King Temple seems to be telling the story of the past, allowing us to enter this building and bring full of auspiciousness, joy, and blessings for the new year!