Preparations for the Rao San Ling festival occur early in the morning and throughout the day prior to the festival’s official beginning. It is uncommon to find many men within the Temple’s walls on this day for preparations. Many of the participants are women praying for good harvest for their family and fertility. Bai women in the community present offerings of incense, fruit, flowers, and a few material items. Others join in groups for prayer and chanting, ringing ceremonial bells and drums to express acknowledgment of the Benzhu, or Temple God.
Another common component of the Rao San Ling preparations is to write blessings and burn them in the Temple’s alter for the Benzhu. As the blessings burn from their physical to atmospheric form, the Bai people say the Gods understand and recognize their offerings.
The first video in the gallery elucidates the activities and traditions occurring within the temple from members of the Bai community for the Rao San Ling festival. The second video documents the process or receiving a blessing and acknowledging the Benzhu, or Temple God. Additionally, click here to visit the full photo set on Flickr from the May 12th, 2012 Rao San Ling Preparations.