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YE Tao, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences

Civil Discourse and Political Practices: Tracing a Folk Religious Association longpaihui in the Last Two Decades



The term Longpaihui (literally Dragon Memorial Tablet Association) refers to two issues: The first one is the faith-based association of the village Fanzhuang, Zhao County of the Hebei Province; the second one is the temple fair in the same village to the annual Festival on the Second day of the second lunar month, which is characterised by cult of Dragon Memorial Tablet.
In this paper, at first I briefly trace down the developments of longpaihui in the last two decades. Based on my own empirical investigations as well as surveys conducted by the other scholars, I give then ethnographic descriptions of longpaihui’s internal organizations, temple fair rituals, belief space, etc. I argue that during the social transition folk religious associations like longpaihui are attempting energetically to optimize their status of legal existence through adjusting themselves to the state policy and through strengthening civil religious discourses. Not to be neglected are also the interventions of scholars and the acquiescence of local officials.

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