If you have been on holiday in Hong Kong lately and perhaps have been wondering why it sounds like the City is under attack, it’s because you experienced hearing Chinese voodoo. Scores of people lined up under a Causeway Bay flyover in March for the annual Chinese "enemy cursing" tradition. Villain hitting, Da Siu Yan or demon exorcising is a folk sorcery popular in the Guangdong area of China and Hong Kong. Its purpose is to curse one's enemies using magic.
Having a bad luck lately? Everything seems to go wrong?
According to some Chinese folklore, there might be some spiritual enemies, or real-life villains who prevent you from having a healthy life, falling in love, advancing your career, etc.
The White Tiger festival is a ritual in which clients take revenge on their enemies by beating a paper effigy in the shape of a tiger. In Hong Kong, this White Tiger ritual is known as "da siu jen", i.e. beating the devil, which is performed by a male or female religious practitioner for his or her client who suffers misfortune or bad luck.
In Hong Kong, the Canal Road Flyover between Causeway Bay and Wan Chai is a popular place for villain hitting. You could experience a scene with thick incense smoke mingled with the chanting of professional ritual masters and echoes of shoes slapping against paper effigies.
As it seems in the year of the dragon the business for practitioners of the ritual boomed immensly. There are usually two or three stalls, but the area this year was packed with more than 30 stalls and customers had to queue to get their hitting chance.
Dozens of ritual performers were beating the devil as they hammered paper effigies of their clients' enemies and shouted curses.
The period for villain hitting is different among temples, but Jingzhe (Feast of Excited Insects) known as well as The White Tiger festival is the most popular date. According to some folklore, Jingzhe is the date when the whole of creation is awakened by thunder. As a result, different kinds of foul spirits including byakko and villains become active. Consequently, villain hitting on this day serves to prevent those harmful to others.
Charges for the ritual range from 20 and 50 HKD. Most of customer come to curse people they hate or who have offended them. Many workers asked to curse their bosses who have fired them.
The villain hitters require human-shaped papers with or without some information of specific people. As part of the ceremony, they beat the papers with shoes or other implements. The whole ceremony of villain hitting is divided into 8 parts:
- Sacrifice to divinities: Worship deities by Incense and Candle.
- Report: Write down the name and the date of birth of the client on the Fulu . If the client request to hit a specific villain, then write down or put the name, date of birth, photo or clothings of the specific villain on the villain paper.
- Villain hitting: Make use of a varieties of symbolic object such as the shoe of clients or the villain hitter or other religious symbolic weapon like incense sticks to hit or hurt the villain paper. Villain paper can also replaced by other derivative such as man paper, woman paper, five ghost paper etc.
- Sacrifice to Bai Hu: The hitter have to make sacrifice to Bai Hu if they want to hit villain on Jingzhe. Use a yellow paper tiger to represent Bai Hu, there are black stripes on the paper tiger and a pair of shape tooth in its mouth. During the sacrifice a small piece of pork is soaked by blood of pig and then put inside the mouth of the paper tiger (to feed Bai Hu). Bai Hu won't hurt others after being full. Sometimes they will also smear a greasy pork on Bai Hu's mouth to make its mouth full of oil and unable to open its mouth to hurt people. In some regional sacrifice the villain would burn the paper tiger or cut off its head after making sacrifice to it.
- Pray for blessings: Use a red Gui Ren paper to pray for blessings and help from Gui Ren.
- Treasure Burning: Burn the paper-made-treasure to worship the spirits。
- Zhi Jiao(or so-called "cup hitting": Zhi Jiao, to cast two crescent-shaped wooden piece to undergo the Zhi Jiao ceremony.
You can even practice this ancient Chinese voodoo electronically!
A fun way to curse your villains and bring yourself luck and prosperity with an iPhone app.