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“Beating the Devil” in Hong Kong

Twice a year, during the White Tiger Festival in March and the Hungry Ghosts Festival in August, practitioners gather in Wan Chai to “Beat the Devil” with their shoes. In most cases the devil is often someone who is bedeviling the petitioner. Bosses and co-workers are particularly popular.

Monday March 6th, hundreds of people of all ages queued up on Canal Road to pay HK$50.00 (US$6.50) to have images or representations of their personal devils pummeled to oblivion with a shoe accompanied by loudly shouted curses and imprecations. According to observers, the crowd is getting younger and younger; another approach to dealing with globalization, I imagine.

I’m sorry I missed it. I have some Chicken Trade officials I’d like to have beaten. If you wish to have your devils beaten, you have another opportunity August 8th, 2006 during the lunar month long Hungry Ghosts festival.