Sunday, March 15, 2020

Hitting the Villain (打小人) Ritual in Hong Kong #villainhitting

I have always been intrigued with superstition and rituals associated with religions and due to my early exposure to Hong Kong movies and dramas; i am aware of this ritual known literally as "hit the villain".

An online search revealed a location that specialises in the ritual; underneath an overpass in between Wan Chai and Causeway Bay MTR stations, and i happily checked it out back in July 2019.

In the beginning, i thought i was at the wrong place as there were just a few "booths" but i read deeper into the ritual and realized that there are auspicious dates to villain hitting; namely, every 6th, 16th and 26th of each lunar month and the period sometime in March known as Jing-Zhe (惊蛰). 

Performed mainly by older ladies, i think it makes business sense to maintain a daily presence for some, given "urgent" cases where you die die need to curse the person / people giving you a hard time and, the need to maintain a more regular income for the villain hitter instead of once every 10 days. 

Now, i know villain hitting aims to curse your enemies, known / unknown, so that bad luck will hit him / her. What i didn't know is that villain hitting is tied strongly to a deity commonly found in many Singapore Taoist temples too; the tiger god. 

Frankly, i do have a few villains in mind that should be hit but there were a few basic things needed for the ritual; name, date of birth and a photo / personal belonging of the villain. I only have the bloody name! Alternatively, you may also consider "general" villains which could be potentially anyone who's a threat to you. 

Whatever the case, i didn't engage their services as my poor grasp of Cantonese would likely result in the villain hitter cursing me instead! But we did chance upon a customer.

While i didn't hear the chants, i did see the action of using a shoe to constantly pound the paper effigy laid on top of a brick! The chants are actually quite classic; it talks about hitting the various parts of the "body" and how "it" should suffer; violent maybe yet pleasing to the ears of the customer.

Basic setup. Even though i keep thinking this is a ritual belonging more to Hong Kong and China Guangzhou region, it can actually be found in some of the temples in Singapore, specifically the ones that honour the tiger god too! However, the "aunties" performing the ritual are said to only appear during the auspicious dates for which villain hitting is most effective. 

Want to read more about this interesting ritual? 
Click HERE


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