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Pattranupravat, Ruenkaew (2009) Festivals and Rituals of Chinese Shrines in Samutsongkhram Province. University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce Journal, 29 (3). ISSN 0125-2437

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Abstract

This article is part of an ongoing qualitative research on “The Continuity and Changes of Activities at Chinese Shrines in Samutsongkhram Province.” The objective is to describe important festivals and rituals held at Chinese Shrines in Samutsongkhram Province as well as the close social bonds among the Chinese community holding and conducting these activities. The findings reveal that the following eight festivals are held annually at Chinese Shrines in Samutsongkhram: Chinese Autumn Festival, Lantern Festival, End-of-the-Year God’s Thanks-Giving Day, Birth Celebration of Shrines’ Chief Gods, Shrine Construction Day Celebration, Vegetarian Festival, and Commemoration of the Death Date of Shrines’ Chief Gods. As for the important rituals, they are Chanting Rituals conducted by Chinese or Vietnamese Buddhist monks and Feeding-the-Lonely-and-Hungry-Ghosts Rituals. The latter ritual aims to achieve merit for people’s dead relatives and strayed ghosts, and to donate necessities to the poor. One of the important rituals held during the Vegetarian Festival is the daily chant carried on during the first nine days of the ninth lunar month of the Chinese calendar. Besides the daily chant, there is Divine Prescription Reading. Every night during the Vegetarian Festival there will be chanting as well as the ritual of passing lighted joss sticks clockwise round a venerable person. Other rituals conducted during the Vegetarian Festival are the Exorcising Ritual, which is believed to change one’s bad fortune through a ritual, Floating Ritual, and Ascending Chief Gods Back to Heaven Ritual. The close bonds among the Chinese during the Chinese Autumn Festival and Vegetarian Festival can be seen in various aspects, such as preparation before the festivals and donations made to the shrines. These activities observed at the shrines clearly reflect a positive social interaction among the Chinese community members.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: General Works > Journals
Social Sciences > Cultures
Social Sciences > Social Groups and Organizations
Divisions: UTCC Journal Editorial Office
Depositing User: Sirichai Jintaviriyasakoon
Date Deposited: 07 May 2014 11:09
Last Modified: 07 May 2014 11:09
URI: http://eprints.utcc.ac.th/id/eprint/611

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