Thursday, July 13, 2006

Hanging Up Zhong Kui's Portrait

In the custom of the Ming and Qing dynasties, putting up the Celestial Master's Talisman became a custom of the Duanwu festival. In some places, people even put up Talismans from the beginning of the 5th month and put them down them as late as the 1st of the 6th month. So there is a poem saying, "Every year when new Talismans replace old ones, Daoists thus have business with their followers. Vital Breath is infused into their dragon-and-snake-like strokes when they draw Talismans with red brushes." The poet's own commentary to the poem says, "Talismans are put up between two pillars on Duanyang Festival to dispel evil and invite blessings. Several days earlier, Daoists draw Talismans in red and send them to all those families that often recite scriptures. These Daoist followers are like business customers." (Street Song of the Year in Hu City by Zhang Chunhua of the Qing Dynasty)


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