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The Ritual Alliances Of The Putian Plains

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Chapter Summary

The Putian plain is an alluvial plain on the edge of the Xinghua Bay ringed around on three sides by mountains and hills. The entire plain was reclaimed from the sea over in a process that took several hundred years from the late Tang to the mid-Ming (9th-16th centuries). The villages of the Putian plain oft en have several temples, and each temple can have many gods. During the Chinese New Years festival, and especially around the Lantern Festival that marks the first full moon of the year, each village carries its most revered gods in a procession around the village boundaries, while Daoist ritual specialists perform rites in the temple. A few days later, the village goes on procession to the other villages of their multi-village ritual alliance, or else receives the main gods of the main temple of their ritual alliance at their own village temple.

Keywords: Chinese New Years; Daoist ritual specialists; Putian plain; Xinghua Bay

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