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Tips for Visiting Temples in Silk Road

Along the Silk Road, you will pass several temples, such as Great Mosque and Famen Temple in Xian; Labrang Lamasery in Lanzhou; Dongguan Mosque andTaer Monastery in Xining; and Id Kah Mosque in Kashgar.

When traveling along the Silk Road, a temple is often an important spot visited by travelers. There are some important things to remember  in order to ensure a pleasant visit to the temples.

A Proper Address of a Monk

‘Shi’ or ‘Fashi’ is an honorable title of the Monks and Taoists, and ‘Zhaolao’, ‘Fangzhang’ or ‘Chanshi’ of the Governing Monk. ‘Heshang’ and ‘Chujiaren’ are regarded as the impolite way to address a Monk.

Proper Manners and Behaviours

pray buddha

1. If you meet a monk, don't get in his way or take  or surpass him. Put your palms together and lower your head when meeting with the monks. Attempting to handshake, embrace or touch the head of the monk is considered sacrilegious.

2. Before you worship Buddha, you should cleanse your body. You'd better not eat garlic, onion, fish, meat, wine, or chew betel nut, smoke.A mouthful of the stinky smell is is pretty disrespectful to the buddhas and bodhisattvas.

3. To enter the buddhist temple,the side entrance, especially the left oneis the most appropriate instead of  the middle gate.

4. When pray the Buddha, you should throw yourself down at your feet in admiration. 

5. When walking in the temple, do not touch or deface any religious artifacts, and be silent and nonjudgemental during religious ceremonies. At the same time, take care of your children so as not to be rude to the buddha.

Proper Dressing

In the temple, the clothes should be neat and simple.  No matter how hot the weather is, don't wear clothes that are too revealing. 

Boys should not wear shorts or vest. At least a half-sleeve shirt.

Girls should not wear dress or cloth with shoulder-straps. Miniskirts are improper, either. No sandals and all the other kinds of shoes which reveal toes.

Topics of Conversation

Topics relating to killings, marriage and eating meat are forbidden.

Other Issues

Q: Can pregnant women worship Buddha?   

A: Yes. It is a superstition that  pregnant women cannot worship Buddha.

Q: Can menstruating woman worship Buddha? 

A: Yes. There is no taboo for this. Buddhism doesn't have this theory, it's a folk belief, it's not worth believing. We have never seen a nun leave the temple, right?