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Offering to White Tiger and 'Hitting the petty person' Da Siu Yan.

Saturday, 21 January 2012
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This article has very little to do with fengshui and BaZi Four Pillars of Destiny.

This is believe to be the time for you to worship the White Tiger 白虎 deity to seek safety and to ward off troublemakers or people who has ill intention against you, to avoid calamities and blood shed for the year.

According to the chinese almanac “Tung shu”, “Tung shing” 通勝, it is believed that insects are awaken from hibernation on this day and this day is known as Jing Zhi 驚蟄.

What is Jingzhe 驚蟄?

The ancient Chinese had divided the year into 24 Solar Terms. These solar terms have meaningful titles to reflect the change of weather, climate and natural phenomena. This is also use in our BaZi Four Pillars of Destiny.

Jingzhe or “Awakening of Insects” is the Third Solar Term, and usually falls on March 5, 6 or 7 of each year. The Jingzhe signifies the awakening of hibernating insects and animals.

On Jingzhe in the ancient days, the Chinese will burn incense and Chinese mugwort to drive away these awakened insects or animals from their homes. Over time, this practice evolved into da siu yan or beating petty little people to get rid of bad luck and unpleasant people.

The Jingzhe (驚蟄) custom of making offerings to the White Tiger (祭白虎) and Da Siu Yan (打小人) or beating petty little people was introduced from Canton (now Guangdong) to Malaysia and Singapore in the 1950s/60s. In those days, it was mostly observed by the Cantonese only. This unique Cantonese custom is now practised by other Chinese dialect groups as well.

This year’s Jingzhe will be on Monday, 5 March 2012.

Literally translated, the Cantonese term “siu yan” (小人) is “little people”. It generally refers to those who are trouble-makers, rumour-mongers, gossipers, and busybodies. The people who cause us trouble or harms are all classified under “little people”. “Siu yan” may also symbolize misfortune, trouble, bad luck or difficulties.

Jingzhe is also the day of the White Tiger opening its mouth (白虎开口日). There is the traditional belief that the White Tiger will be looking for prey on Jingzhe, as well as opening its mouth to bite people. Devotees respectfully addressed the White Tiger as “Tiger Master” (虎爷).

The Tiger Master is considered to be an inauspicious deity of arguments or conflicts arising from malicious gossips. According to belief, anyone who offended it will have “little people” creating problems for him or her throughout the year. As a preemptive measure, the Chinese will make offerings to the White Tiger on Jingzhe.

The Jingzhe ritual, therefore, is making offerings to the White Tiger and Da Siu Yan 打小人.

The prayers

Prayers usually starts with “Hitting the petty person” 打小人. In this prayers, devotee would have to purchase the necessary incense paper before hand. Along with the incense paper for this prayer there will be a paper cut out of a human and that would symbolize as the person with petty character. There is a paper chain used to tie the scheming character and paper hands or shoe paper for the sweeping or hitting the tied scheming characters.

Then prayers to the white tiger begins.

Things that are commonly used for white tiger prayers are white tiger praying incense papers, fresh fat pork, greens beans, sesame seeds and fresh duck eggs.

The piece of fat pork is rubbed and placed on the tiger’s mouth to symbolize feeding the tiger while sprinkling of the green beans and sesame seeds on the white tiger statue symbolize chasing aways problems and troubles. The eggs are place on the side if the statue as offerings.

After this ritual, the next would be to ritual where the individual invites the auspicious Noble man 拜贵人 for the year.

Some temple do provide all the needed material for the offering for a small fee. So you should have no worries but do be early.

During this time, it is also very common for devotees to do offerings to the yearly Tai Sui 太歲.
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