Qiang folk religion

Qiang folk religion is the indigenous religion of the majority of the Qiang people, an ethnic group of Sichuan (China) tightly related to the Han Chinese and the Tibetans.[1]:14 It is pantheistic, involving the worship of a variety of gods of nature and of human affairs, including Qiang progenitors. White stones are worshipped as it is believed they can be invested with the power of some gods through rituals.[1]:14 They believe in an overarching God, called Mubyasei ("God of Heaven"), which is connected to the Chinese concept of Tian and clearly identified by the Qiang with the Taoist-originated Jade Deity.[2]:140–144

Religious ceremonies and rituals are directed by priests called duāngōng in Chinese. They are shamans who acquire their position through years of training with a teacher. Duāngōng are the custodians of Qiang theology, history and mythology. They also administer the coming of age ceremony for 18 year-old boys, called the "sitting on top of the mountain", which involves the boy's entire family going to mountain tops to sacrifice a sheep or cow, and to plant three cypress trees.[1]:14–15

Two of the most important religious holidays are the Qiang New Year, falling on the 24th day of the sixth month of the lunar calendar (though now it is fixed on October 1st), and the Mountain Sacrifice Festival, held between the second and the sixth month of the lunar calendar. The former festival is to give sacrifice to the God of Heaven, while the latter is dedicated to the god of mountains.[1]:14

Qiang folk religion's Silver Turtle Temple at Qiangshan, in Mao, Ngawa, Sichuan
Silver Turtle Temple (银龟神庙 Yínguīshénmiào) is a major centre of Qiang folk religion consecrated in 2013–2014, a complex of temples dedicated to various gods.[note 1] It is located on Qiangshan, in Mao, Ngawa, Sichuan.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Among the chapels of the Silver Turtle Temple (银龟神庙 Yínguīshénmiào) there are a Great Temple of Yandi (炎帝大殿 Yándì dàdiǎn), a Great Temple of Dayu (大禹大殿 Dàyǔ dàdiàn) and a Great Temple of Li Yuanhao (李元昊大殿 Lǐyuánhào dàdiàn), considered the most important deities of the Qiang people.

References

  1. ^ a b c d LaPolla, Randy; Huang, Chenglong (2003). A Grammar of Qiang: With Annotated Texts and Glossary. Walter de Gruyter. ISBN 311017829X.. Chapter 1.3.6 "Religion".
  2. ^ Wang, Mingke (2002). "Searching for Qiang Culture in the First Half of the Twentieth Century". Inner Asia. The White Horse Press for the Mongolia and Inner Asia Studies Unit at the University of Cambridge. 4 (1–2): 134–148. See excerpts.
Associations of good-doing

The associations of good-doing (Chinese: 行好的; pinyin: Xínghǎode) are organised groups of the indigenous religion of Hebei province (河北民间宗教 Héběi mínjiān zōngjiào or 河北民间信仰 Héběi mínjiān xìnyǎng), or the "Pear Area" of China. The Congregation of the Dragon's Name (龙牌会 Lóngpái Huì) is one of these movements of good-doers.Xinghaode associations organise temple festivals and pilgrimages for the worship of certain deities, as well as other types of collective activities. Their purpose is to make rènào (热闹), that is "social living" or "social harmony".

Baojuan

Baojuan (宝卷 bǎojuǎn), literally precious scrolls, are a genre of prosimetric texts (texts written in an alternation of prose and verse) of a religious or mystical nature, produced within the context of Chinese folk religion and individual Chinese folk religious sects. They are often written in vernacular Chinese and recount the mythology surrounding a deity or a hero, or constitute the theological and philosophical scriptures of organised folk sects.

Chinese shamanism

Chinese shamanism, alternatively called Wuism (Chinese: 巫教; pinyin: wū jiào; literally: 'wu religion, shamanism, witchcraft'; alternatively 巫觋宗教 wū xí zōngjiào), refers to the shamanic religious tradition of China. Its features are especially connected to the ancient Neolithic cultures such as the Hongshan culture. Chinese shamanic traditions are intrinsic to Chinese folk religion, an overarching term for all the indigenous religions of China. Wu masters remain important in contemporary Chinese culture.

Various ritual traditions are rooted in original Chinese shamanism: contemporary Chinese ritual masters are sometimes identified as wu by outsiders, though most orders don't self-identify as such. Also Taoism has some of its origins from Chinese shamanism: it developed around the pursuit of long life (shou 壽/寿), or the status of a xian (仙, "mountain man", "holy man").

Chinese spirit possession

Chinese spirit possession is a practice performed by specialists called jitong (a type of shamans) in Chinese folk religion, involving the channelling of Chinese deities who take control of the specialist's body, resulting in noticeable changes in body functions and behaviour. The most famous Chinese spirit possession practitioners took part in the Boxer Rebellion in the 1900s, when boxers claimed to be invulnerable to the cut of a sharp knife, gunshots, and even cannon fire.

De teaching

The De teaching (Chinese: 德教 Dejiao, "teaching of virtue", the concept of De), whose corporate name is the Church of Virtue (德教会 Déjiàohuì), is a sect rooted in Taoism, that was founded in 1945 in Chaozhou, Guangdong. It is popular both in China and amongst expatriate Chinese populations.

Fenxiang

Fenxiang (分香), literally the incense division, is a term that defines both hierarchical networks of temples dedicated to a god in Chinese folk religion, and the ritual process by which these networks form.

Huazhaidao

Huazhaidao (华斋道 "Way of Flowers and Fasting") is a Chinese folk religious sect of Henan that as of the 1980s was a proscribed religion in China as testified by the arrest of various Communist Party members who joined the sect in those years.

Jiugongdao

Jiugongdao (九宫道 "Way of the Nine Palaces") is a Chinese folk religious sect centered in the Wutai County of the province of Shanxi. The name of the sect is based on the jiugong diagram of esoteric cosmology.

Flourishing in the Qing dynasty, but rooted in earlier times, the Jiugongdao developed greatly on Mount Wutai thanks to the efforts of Li Xiangshan, also known as Puji, his name as a Buddhist monk who was close to the Manchu court. With his contribution, Jiugongdao took over more than twenty run down former Buddhist monasteries on Mount Wutai and rebuilt them thanks to the donations of its strong following, especially concentrated in northeast China. The monasteries were reformed into Chinese temples dedicated to indigenous deities and the cosmological Lords of the Five Peaks. The sect also gathered a following among Khorchin Mongols.The Jiugongdao declined on Mount Wutai in the 1940s, as a Han Chinese-acquired tradition of Tibetan Buddhism took power. With the campaigns against religion in the 1950s and the Cultural Revolution, Jiugongdao and other folk religious sects focused on Mount Wutai, Huanxiangdao and Houtiandao, were persecuted and went underground. They have revived since the 1980s.

Maitreya teachings

The Maitreya teachings or Maitreyanism (Chinese: 弥勒教; pinyin: Mílèjiào; literally: 'Maitreya teachings'), also called Mile teachings, refers to the beliefs related to Maitreya (彌勒 Mílè in Chinese) that penetrated China together with Buddhism and Manichaeism, and were developed in different ways both in the Chinese Buddhist schools and in the sect salvationist traditions of the Chinese folk religion.

Maitreya was the central deity worshipped by the first folk salvation religions, but in later developments of the sects he was gradually replaced by the Limitless Ancient Mother (無生老母 Wúshēng Lǎomǔ), although Maitreyan eschatology continued to have a place in their doctrines.

Folk Buddhist movements that worshipped and awaited Maitreya are recorded at least back to the years between 509 and 515 (6th century). A notorious event was the rebellion led by monk Faqing from Jizhou City, then Northern Wei, in the name of a "new Buddha". Later, Maitreyan beliefs developed conspicuously outside the boundaries of Buddhism. By 715, as testified by an edict, wearing white clothes, that was originally a practice common to lay Buddhist congregations, had become a distinctive feature of Maitreyan sects.

Miaohui

Miaohui (庙会), literally temple gatherings or translated as temple fairs, also called yíngshén sàihuì (迎神赛会 "collective rituals to greet the gods"), are Chinese religious gatherings held by folk temples for the worship of the Chinese gods and immortals. Large-scale miaohui are usually held around the time of the Chinese New Year, or in specific temples at the birthday of the god enshrined in the temple itself. Activities usually include rituals celebrated in the temple, opera on a stage facing the temple, processions of the gods' images on carts throughout villages and cities, performance of musical and ritual troupes (of Taoists, sects and Confucian ritualists), blessing of offerings brought to the temple by families, and various economic activities.Geography and local customs lead to great differences in the nature of festivals dedicated to the gods. In northern China miaohui are usually week-long, with ceremonies held in large temples, and attended by tens of thousands of people; while in southern China they are a much more local practice, organised by village temples or clusters of temples of different villages.

Ming yun

Ming yun (Chinese: 命運; pinyin: mìng yùn) is a concept of the personal life and destiny in the Chinese folk religion. Ming is "life" or "right", the given status of life, and yùn defines "circumstance" and "individual choice"; mìng is given and influenced by the transcendent force Tiān (天), that is the same as the "divine right" (tiān mìng) of ancient rulers as identified by Mencius. Personal destiny (mìng yùn) is thus perceived as both fixed (the status of life) and flexible, open-ended (the individual choice in matters of bào yìng).

Taigu school

The Taigu school (太谷学派 Tàigǔ xuépài), also Great Perfection (大成教 Dàchéng jiào) or Yellow Cliff teaching (黄崖教 Huángyá jiào), is a mystical folk religious sect of Confucianism spread especially in Jiangsu, Anhui and Shandong. It was founded by Zhou Xingyuan, a man with shamanic skills entitled Taigu (太谷 "Great Valley") by followers.The purpose of the school is to help those who practice it to develop a clear and enlightened state of mind, in which man apprehends his true nature and recovers original simplicity.

Tianguangdao

Tianguangdao (天光道 "Way of the Heavenly Light") is a Chinese folk religious sect that as of the 1980s was a proscribed religion in China. Particularly active in Heilongjiang and Anhui, there are records of detentions of leaders and members easpecially from the former province.

Tianxian miaodao

The Tianxian miaodao (天仙庙道 "Way of the Temple of the Heavenly Immortals"), incorporated as the Church of the Way of the Temple of the Heavenly Immortals (天仙庙道会 Tiānxiān miàodào huì) is a Chinese salvationist religious sect centered in Henan. It was founded in the mid-19th century and flourished in the early republic and was known for its rebellious aptitude towards the state. Despite systematic efforts of the later communist republic to suppress it in the 1950s and 1960s, it has persisted to the present day.

Wu (awareness)

Wu (Chinese: 悟) is a concept of awareness, consciousness, or spiritual enlightenment in the Chinese folk religion. According to scholarly studies, many practitioners recently "reverted" to the Chinese traditional religion speak of a "new awareness" (kāi wù 開悟 or jué wù 覺悟) of the interconnectedness of reality in terms of the cosmic-moral harmony—mìng yùn, bào yìng, yuán fèn. This spiritual awareness works as an engine that moves these themes from being mere ideas to be motivating forces in one's life: awareness of mìng yùn ignites responsibility towards life; awareness of yuan fen stirs to respond to events rather than resigning. Awareness is a dynamic factor and appears in two guises: a realisation that arrives as a gift, often unbidden; then it evolves into a practice that the person intentionally follows.In Latin alphabetical transliteration of the Chinese, it's a homograph of the wu-shaman.

Xiezhi

The xiezhi (Chinese: 獬豸) or haetae (Korean: 해태, often spelled haitai or haechi) is a legendary creature in Chinese and Korean mythology.

Xuanyuan teaching

Xuanyuandao (軒轅道 "Way of Xuanyuan"), also known as Xuanyuanism (軒轅教) or Huangdiism (黄帝教), is a Confucian folk religion of China which was founded in Taipei, Taiwan, in 1952. The founder was Wang Hansheng (王寒生) (1899–1989), a legislator. The Church of Xuanyuan aims to restore the "national religion" of archaic (pre-Han dynasty) China, with Huangdi as the universal God.

Yellow Dragon

The Yellow Dragon (traditional Chinese: 黃龍; simplified Chinese: 黄龙; pinyin: Huánglóng; Cantonese Yale: Wong4 Lung4 Japanese: Kōryū or Ōryū Korean: Hwang-Ryong Vietnamese: Hoàng Long) is the zoomorphic incarnation of the Yellow Emperor of the centre of the universe in Chinese religion and mythology.The Yellow Emperor or Yellow Deity was conceived by a virgin mother, Fubao, who became pregnant after seeing a yellow ray of light turning around the Northern Dipper (in Chinese theology the principal symbol of God). Twenty four months later the Yellow Emperor was born and was associated to the colour yellow because it is the colour of the Earth (Dì 地), the material substance, in which he incarnated.

Zhongyongdao

Zhongyongdao (中庸道 "Way of the Golden Mean") is a Chinese folk religious sect that as of the 1980s was a proscribed religion in China as testified by the arrest of one of its leaders, Tang Tianxu, in Sichuan in 1981.

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