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Beating the Ghost and Revive Hope

[ 2009-02-27 17:55]     字号 [] [] []  
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The annual activity of Beating the Ghost, an important Buddhist Ritual, is held in the Yonghe Temple in Beijing from January 29 to February 1st of the Chinese lunar calendar.

Li Lixiang, Research Director, Administrative Department of Yonghe Temple:

“If people relish the thought of being greedy or haunted by worries, the religious dance is expected to shake off their trouble and pacify the world. The ritual is also called Da Gui or Beating the Ghost.”

Jiamuyang Ningjie, the Steward of the Yonghe Temple:

“As a major ritual of the Tibetan Buddhism, preparations for the activity are made even before the lunar new year. Today, we’ll strut our stuff. The costumes are replications, the props, which were made from pulp and sheepskin, are passed down from the period of the Republic of China. It is really a laborious dance.”

A Dance Performer:

“It took us nearly a month for rehearsals. We are exhausted.”

Different movements of the dance indicate distinct meanings, some for praying, some for edifying, some to prevail over evil and some to appreciate the envoy for hosting the ritual.

At the end of the dance, the lamas walked in a procession with a model of the demon and threw it into a fire, symbolizing the exorcizing of the devil and the pacification of the world.

After the ritual, the lamas continue to chant sutras, while people got a small bag of sacrificial fruits and candies as a blessing for their safety and happiness in the following year.


“It is for peace and prosperity.”

(英语点津 Helen 编辑)