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Photographer's Note

Taken during one of my walkabouts in Zhangzhou, Fujian China (in China, mostly Beijing, 2007-2011 living)

Often all over China there are these local worship temples like this one here. A key function of the temple is to provide a place for the practice of veneration of ancestors. Ancestors, their ghosts, or spirits, are considered part of "this world" that is, they are neither supernatural (in the sense of being outside nature) nor transcendent in the sense of being beyond nature. One could connect with them here. They are perceived as family/special beings who keep their individual identities.

In this photo we see a small pagoda-like structure on the right. This is a spot where spirit money is given, often bi-monthly, and/or on special occasions, The money, which looks realistic and is made of simple quick burnable paper is sold at the temple or shops nearby, is burned in the oven opening seen at the base of the structure – once burned it is converted into “real” money usable by the departed venerated ancestor. Other items (almost anything) made of paper can be burned and be sent onward.

David

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Additional Photos by Dr David Reed Thomas (drt100) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 333 W: 74 N: 754] (3506)
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