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Cantonese Society in Hong Kong and SingaporeGender, Religion, Medicine and Money$
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Marjorie Topley and Jean DeBernardi

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9789888028146

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888028146.001.0001

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Chinese Occasional Rites in Hong Kong

Chinese Occasional Rites in Hong Kong


(p.380) (p.381) Chapter 14 Chinese Occasional Rites in Hong Kong
Cantonese Society in Hong Kong and Singapore

Marjorie Topley

, Jean DeBernardi
Hong Kong University Press

This chapter examines the role of rites performed by people on their own in the religion of the Cantonese in urban Hong Kong today. It distinguishes two kinds of individual performances: “regular” rites and “occasional” rites. Occasional rites deal with more specific problems and are performed as such problems arise. The more specific the circumstances, the more knowledge of spiritual matters may be needed. Material adjuncts are tailored more to particular needs and are sometimes “custom made” for individual needs. The chapter gives brief descriptions of some ritual materials in common use and outline some of the most popular rites in urban Hong Kong, but the chapter's main discussion is of the meaning and purpose of such ritual: what puts it “into motion” so to speak, and what it is meant to “do” for the performer.

Keywords:   religion, Cantonese, Hong Kong, regular rites, occasional rites, ritual materials, popular rites

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