Get rid of the bad stuff


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March 6th 2009
Published: March 6th 2009
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Picture if you will, a crowd of people, an old lady, paper tigers, candles and incense, all next to a five lane busy road, and underneath a large flyover, next to a continuous flow of pedestrians, and next to a pedestrian crossing...well, that's what happens down the street from me, and I have finally learned the gist of what is going on....

The flyover I live next to is known as the "ducks neck" - I presume due to the curved shape of the road, and the curved neck of a dead duck hanging in a restaurant window. Apparently it is a good place to do this 'procedure'. Under the flyover where it crosses over the main road is where there is a gathering of old ladies and candles, incense and paper tigers. I have walked past them for 6 months now, and in the last two days there has been a massive increase in the number of these ladies, and today they are back to three or four again. What I witness most frequently is the bashing of the heel of a shoe against a brick. Continuous bashing.

Today I saw a lady waving her arms around the incense a lot, and there are always lots of paper tigers laid out on the street. I'll let the photos explain that one!

From the description I was given, it seems this is a good time of year for "getting rid of bad stuff", a certain time period after Chinese New Year. Also, something to do with animals coming out of hibernation. Apparently you can say - "I had a bad year last year" or "I was ill" or even "I don't like (Bob)" it seems! Then, you can ask the old lady to "get rid of the bad stuff" and the ceremony commences. This is what I understand from the description anyhow.

So, there it is, just thought I'd try to make sense of it myself and share it with you!
Feel free to enlighten me more,

J xx


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6th March 2009

"villain hitting"
it's comparable to sticking needles into "voodoo dolls". there's a good english wikipedia entry on it. search under "villain hitting" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Villain_hitting
6th March 2009

"villain hitting"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Villain_hitting
11th March 2009

The answer...
Thanks to another comment, and my colleague explaining it is the 'white tiger festival' I now have some more answers! This website explains it quite well also; http://www.thaiworldview.com/hongkong/feast/whitetiger.htm Hoorah!

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