Sunday, December 16, 2007

Want a good year? Whack the baddies 你需要打小人吗?

Offerings for the white tiger ......

Spring is the time when hibernating animals wake up to look for food. According to old Chinese beliefs, the ferocious white tiger (白虎, 俗称虎爷)also comes out to hunt at this time. The villagers would give food offerings so that it would not turn on them.

Besides worshipping the white tiger, the people of Guangdong province in China also started the custom of 'whacking small people' as they believe that illnesses and small (mean) people would start to harm others at the start of Spring. At the beginning of Chinese New Year, a trip to the temple to whack the baddies would mean chasing away the evil spirits, ensuring a year of good health, good luck and peace.

On March 5 to 7 every year, long queues would form outside a temple in Balestier. The worshippers, some are from other races, come with offerings to pay respect to the statue of a white tiger.

When a believer's turn comes, he would knee down to light his candles. Then he takes out a piece of lard to smear on the white tiger's mouth and offers a duck egg, while chanting "Good people to approach me, 'small' people to leave me alone." (好人近身,小人远离。) They believe the food would keep the tiger's mouth busy and not bite them. hehe.....

And the most interesting part of the ritual comes..... the believers would use their shoes or slippers to whack paper cut outs hard. They would also stomp on them. We could also see people sticking needles in the paper cut outs or cursing the intended to Hell in some extreme cases. hehehe....

Such actions is a form of emotional release. To the believers, it's therapeutic and helps in healing their hurt egos. It's cheaper than seeing a shrink though. And lesser assaults or murder cases....

When I was in Hong Kong, a friend brought me to see how they carry out the ritual. If you are shy or aren't good enough, you can pay for a professional whacker to do it for you. They are all elderly ladies who can really curse, all your foes' 18 generations will rot in Hell after that! Trust me, you wouldn't want to mess with them.
*photos obtained from our local Chinese papers, Zaobao  


  1. Well I hope I would never need to 打小人.

  2. How much have to pay ah?

    Can I pay you instead ah to whack the baddies?? Hehe...

  3. Whack the Mouse?!!! LOL!!!! That sounds so sexual!

  4. I always found this ritual funny! never really believed it, though it's amusing to watch all those people whacking the baddies away. the sharper the heel the better, I heard!

  5. I also find that this 'whack the baddies' are quite funny. I mean, the things that the 'professional' says. But I agree not to mess with them no matter what...

  6. Doreen,
    With your good temper and sweet looks, you would probably not have any one whacking you behind your back...., but you cannot avoid 小人 around you!

  7. May,
    haha... it was really enjoyable watching the elderly HK ladies whacking the baddies. And get shocked by the colourful language some of them use for cursing.

    Oh yes! The younger ladies use very high high heels....kakaka....

  8. stay-at-home-mum,
    Yes... it is better than seeing a shrink!

  9. misti,
    Dun play play.... the baddies can have bad luck for a year!

  10. Windy,
    Coming from HK, I am sure you have seen some of your fellow countrymen whacking the Hell out of their foes. Quite a sight! hehe....

  11. i have never heard of this ritual .. but it is interesting to learn on how to whack the paper :)

  12. mudpie,
    haha.... it is interesting indeed. There are lots of weird or interesting things happening under the sun!

  13. Hahaha I find this practice highly entertaining. On another note, a sifu just told me that my BOSS is my xiao ren. I was like ...

  14. xtralicious,
    Your BOSS? Then you have to really hit hard!!! Buy the highest high heels you can find. hehe......

    Some bosses can be your gui ren 贵人, some can be xiao ren 小人.....