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When to catch the best view of the full moon tonight

Posted: 09/19/2013 10:00 am

It is a mid-autumn festival tradition to stare at the full moon and think of one’s family members if you can’t be with them as the word for “round” sounds similar to the word for “reunion.”

According to Wuyang Planetarium, the best time at which to watch the moon in Guangzhou and Shenzhen is 26 minutes past midnight, as that is when it will be at its highest and brightest.

The moon will be seen rising from the east at 6:12pm today. It will be in line with the sun and earth at 7:13 and it will go down in the west at 6:45 in the morning.

Mid-autumn is the second most important festival in China and traditional dishes for the occasion include moon cakes, boiled taro, fruit, and peanuts. Other popular activities include going to the temple to burn joss sticks and recite prayers.


Shenzhen temple the latest elaborate and controversial rooftop structure

Posted: 08/21/2013 4:29 pm

A rooftop temple on top of Meijia Square housing complex in Shenzhen’s Nanshan District has become the latest in a series of controversial rooftop structures in China.

The report comes after a privately owned Beijing rooftop villa made from artificial rocks came to public attention last week. Authorities have since given the Beijing owner 15 days to demolish it, or face punishment. Local residents said they feared it might have caused the entire 26-storey apartment block to collapse in on itself.

Carl Ji, a Shenzhen resident, told The Nanfang today: “This kind of construction work is illegal. Shenzhen’s government should demolish it as soon as possible to set an example. Who is this guy that he thinks he can build his own temple on a public area? He’s just interested in his own private interests. It is arrogant.”

The 21st storey apartment on which the Shenzhen temple has been built is said to be worth 15 million yuan (US$2.5 million). The building’s tenants are all “either high-ranking officials or very rich people,” according to the report by Yangcheng Evening News today.

“The Meijia Square housing complex is an expensive property where every square metre is valued at about 30,000 yuan (HK$38,000),” the South China Morning Post also said in a follow-up report earlier today.

The Post added: “Neighbours were unsure who the owner of the property was, but said that the temple was often occupied and used for traditional Chinese religious practices… neighbours did say that golden sheets of joss paper… occasionally floated down from the temple’s perch.”

The temple, suspected to be an illegal structure, first came to public attention Monday after Shenzhen Special Zone Daily seized on the controversial local oddity in the wake of the Beijing story.

Particular concerns with the Shenzhen temple, aside from structural issues, are regarding restricted access to the rooftop, which is a public area designated as an emergency escape route — though how residents are supposed to “escape” from a rooftop in the case of a fire, for example, is perhaps a question in itself.

“A police spokesperson said the department would demolish the structure if illegal construction was confirmed, and measures such as the freezing of property rights would be taken if the owner opposed the demolition,” Shenzhen Daily reported earlier this week.

A fingerprint scanner built into the roof’s gate is apparently intended to keep away unwanted visitors.

The case is still under investigation by local authorities.

Photo credit: Shenzhen News


Shenzhen official blows scads of public money on family tomb and ancestral temple

Posted: 01/28/2013 1:50 pm

The lavish temple that Lin Jian is accused of owning

A low-level government official based in Shenzhen’s Longgang District has been accused by villagers in Guangdong Province’s Shanwei Municipal Region of building family monuments with public money. The villagers claim he built a family tomb with 100,000 RMB and an ancestral temple with 1 million RMB, Liaoning Satellite Television reports.

As the province pilots forcing officials to declare their assets, netizens are eager to know where the official, Lin Jian, got the money. According to residents of Tanxi Village in Lufeng, despite being based in Shenzhen’s Nanwan Street, Lin has used public money to build the family monuments.

The cost of burying the dead has been a controversial issue in China in recent years. Many families are choosing the more affordable and environmentally friendly method of sea burials.

The tomb that allegedly belongs to Lin’s family

The ancestral temple has elements of both Ming and Qing Dynasty architecture and was built with top quality materials, the villagers claim. If their claim is true, then the constructions would be unaffordable to somebody in Lin Jian’s income bracket.

This news comes at a doubly inopprtune time for Lin as China has just announced data on its level of income inequality. It was the first time since 2001 China had officially announced its GINI coefficient, which showed tremendous disparity between China’s wealthy and those less fortunate.

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