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China’s temple tourism booms as youth visit Buddhist shrines in droves | Travel

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China is witnessing a surge in temple tourism as hundreds of young people flock to Buddhist temples each weekend to unwind from daily pressures, Colombo Gazette reported. According to data from travel platforms in recent months, bookings for temple visits have more than tripled year-on-year, with young people accounting for half of those orders.

The Lama Temple, a Buddhist worship site in Beijing, witnessed a daily average of over 40,000 visitors last week, according to domestic media reports.(Unsplash)
The Lama Temple, a Buddhist worship site in Beijing, witnessed a daily average of over 40,000 visitors last week, according to domestic media reports.(Unsplash)

According to data from Ctrip, an online ticketing platform in mainland China, since February, nearly 50 per cent of the people, who booked tickets for temple spots, are young Chinese born after the nineties becoming the main force of temple tourism. The data shows that ticket bookings for temple-related visits have increased by 310 per cent yearly.

Many believers among young Chinese are seeking a temporary escape from personal or professional worries as they have found a new way to unwind from the daily grind in these religious sites, according to local media reports, reported Colombo Gazette.

Searches for temple visits have surged by 580 per cent this year, according to Ocean Engine, an online marketing service provider. On the lifestyle platform Xiaohongshu, there have been over 820,000 temple-goers posting anything from travelling tips to worshipping etiquette and deeming the tour a “heart-cleansing experience”.

The Lama Temple, a Buddhist worship site in Beijing, witnessed a daily average of over 40,000 visitors last week, according to domestic media reports. The capital’s Wofo Temple has also gone viral, primarily due to its similar obeisance to the word “offer,” as students and young professionals flock to pray for school admissions and career advancements.

However, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) official media recently issued a statement criticizing young people for visiting temples instead of “struggling for communism”. The CCP’s official media, “Beijing News”, published a commentary on March 21, saying that young people are facing much pressure nowadays, such as taking postgraduate entrance examinations, finding a good job, and getting rid of being single, Colombo Gazette reported.

Under pressure, the young people sought a channel to release stress and transfer anxiety and chose a temple full of incense and solemn treasures. The article concluded that “it is unreliable to pray to gods and Buddhas after all”.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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