Zhai Gong (Palace of Abstinence) is located at the southern side of east six palaces in Forbidden City. It used to be the place for Emperor’s abstinence before heaven-worshiping ceremony. During Ming and Qing Dynasties, the ceremony was held outside the palaces. During the late period of reign of Emperor Kang Xi, many princes countered against one another for succession of throne, and finally the fourth son of Emperor Kangxi got the throne, but meanwhile he also made many enemies in palaces. In order to make the palace in peace, Emperor Yong Zheng established Zhai Gong (Palace of Abstinence) in Forbidden City in 1731, since then such a national ceremony was moved inside the hall.


Zhai Gong (Palace of Abstinence) is comprised of the main hall, living hall, guard house, bell tower and so on. It is also called No-Beam Palace and is a famous architecture in Beijing. The roof of Zhai Gong (Palace of Abstinence) is covered with blue glazed tiles, and it was used to show the modesty and non-pride of Emperor and the meaning that Emperor was always the official under the control of heaven ruler. In front of the palace, there is a stone pavilion and inside, there is a copper figure holding a board with two characters of “斋戒”. It is used for reminding the emperor should not woolgather. There are three types of copper figures: the figure of Wei Zhen, who was the prime minister of Tang Dynasty; the figure of Leng Qian as well as Gang Bing, who was a eunuch of Ming Dynasty. All of three were the honest officials or servants in ancient China before Qing Dynasty. Behind Main Hall, it is the living palace. According to the ancient rites and rules, Emperor stayed here for three days before he held the ceremony. Some regulations are no meat diet, non-drinking, no amusement, no-criminal and no sexual life and so on. These rules are unbearable for those indulgent emperors.

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