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Concluding And Comparative Comments

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Chapter Summary

In the world of local community religion in north China, structure and organization appear wherever one looks, but this is true not only in festivals, but also in family worship practices, ancestor veneration, rituals performed by Daoist priests where and when they are available, and in the transformation of popular religious sects into community-based traditions. In this concluding comments one looks at some of these practices, beginning with rituals carried out at festivals by representatives of families who hope to gain blessings from the heightened presence of the gods at these special times. Many of the patterns of local organization and ritual discussed is found in many other areas of the world as well, where one also finds the worship of local protective deities who reside in temples, where they are petitioned for practical aid and celebrated with annual festivals, dramas and processions around their communities.

Keywords: Daoist; north China



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