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Rain Rituals

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Chapter Summary

In his study of rural north China in the mid-twentieth century, Prasenjit Duara writes of a village in Hebei. His passage is a good introduction to the importance and organization of village rituals for 'seeking rain' (qiu yu) or 'praying [to the gods] for rain' (qi yu). Such rituals were practiced in many areas of China but were particularly important in the north because of the dry climate there, as discussed in the Introduction to this book and which includes a description of a rain-seeking ritual. Kenneth Pomeranz describes community rain rituals as "lengthy, participatory, loud, strenuous and passionate which accords well with what the author has learned about this topic! It is understandable that people would resort to dramatic actions and symbolism to deal with a problem that can still be found in many areas of the world today.

Keywords: Hebei; Kenneth Pomeranz; north China; Prasenjit Duara; Rituals



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