Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Paper Boat Ritual

A beautiful plague god boat loaded and ready to be burnt.
In Taiwan, paper boat is used to send bad spirits such as Plague God away. This ritual is also copied by many of the Chinese communities in Southeast Asia countries. I will let the interested parties to do further research. Just to get a clearer picture about this ritual, I cut and copied from


“The burning of the Plague God Boat is one of the folk rituals of the seafaring people in southwestern Taiwan. The original purpose of this ritual was to send the Plague God out to the sea, and diseases along with him; today it is an activity held to pray for peace and good fortune. The festival is held once every three years, around the ninth lunar month, at Donglong Temple in Donggang. The boats are burned in the middle of the fourth month at Cingan Temple in Sigang, Tainan County. Generally, the Donggang event is bigger. These celebrations include large-scale temple activities, which climax with the burning of the plague god boat on the last day.


The Donggang boat-burning celebrations run for eight days and seven nights. According to custom, before the boat is set afire, devotees and other participants prepare goods for the symbolic trip. Then a big fire is made (this is to force bad spirits and the Plague God to go aboard), and the boat is burned while the people pray for peace.”


My version of paper boat ritual
I have a much simpler paper boat deliverance ritual that I have successfully sent many spirits away:


·         Make a small paper boat and then put some food offering in it.

·         Invite the spirits to board the boat.

·         Perform a round of prayer.

·         Burn the boat outside of your house.

·         You will notice atmosphere in the house cleared immediately; at times breeze accompanied with the burning of the boat.


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