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Wang Ye worship

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Title: Wang Ye worship  
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Subject: Chinese folk religion, Religion in Taiwan, Chinese creation myth, Bao ying, Jingxiang
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Wang Ye worship

Prince Su Fuda.

Wang Ye worship (Chinese: 王爺信仰) is a primarily Taiwanese folk religion, frequently considered an aspect of the Taoist belief system. Wang Ye is particularly worshiped in Southern Taiwan.[1]

The customary belief is that Wang Ye, or Wang Yeh (Chinese: 王爺; pinyin: Wángyé; literally: "royal lord"), are divine emissaries who tour the world of the living on behalf of the celestial realm, expelling disease and evil from those who worship them. A temple that houses a Wang Ye is generally called 代天府 (daitian fu: "palace representing heaven"), and the Wang Ye's visit is known as 代天巡狩 (dai tian xunshou: "hunting tour on behalf of heaven"), the object of the "hunting" being disease and bad luck. Such "hunting tours" take place on a regular cycle of a set number of years, usually three years.

Contents

  • Origins of Wang Ye worship 1
  • The Wang Ye 2
  • Wang Ye festivals 3
  • References 4

Origins of Wang Ye worship

Wang Ye worship stems from belief in two main categories of supernatural beings, both kinds the spirits of what were once, according to legend, real human beings.

The first category of Wang Ye began as pestilence-spreading spirits, the vengeful ghosts of promising young scholars who met violent and untimely deaths. To stop disease, people would pray and make offerings to these beings. As time passed, these Wang Ye gradually became disease-dispelling gods and bringers of good fortune.

The second category comprises heroes who attained godhood as a result of great acts in their lives. An example is the spirit of Koxinga, thus honored for his role in fighting the Qing forces.

The Wang Ye

There are many Wang Ye: some traditions claim there are a total of 360, with 132 surnames among them.

Wang Ye festivals

Wang Ye festivals take place in various parts of Taiwan, mostly in the south. They generally involve processions of gods to ward away disease and bring good fortune, and end with the burning or launch of a replica boat.

One of the primary Wang Ye festivals in Taiwan takes place in the city of Donggang, Pingtung County, once every three years. The 2009 festival began on October 10 and culminated in the early morning of October 17, when a wooden boat was set on fire on the beach.

References

  1. ^ Katz, Paul R. (2011). "Royal Lords". Encyclopedia of Taiwan (Council for Cultural Affairs). Retrieved 24 February 2012. 
  • Temple of Fire
  • Burning Boats Ward Off Plague


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