Xinghao de

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Xinghao de (Chinese: 行好的; pinyin: Xínghǎo de; literally: "Good-Doing, Good-Doers") is the name adopted by organised groups of practitioners of indigenous religion of Hebei (河北民间宗教 Héběi mínjiān zōngjiào or 河北民间信仰 Héběi mínjiān xìnyǎng), or the "Pear Area".[1] The Dragon's Will (龙牌会 Lóng pái huì) is one of these movements of Good-Doers.[2][3]

Apart from worshipping certain deities, members of Xinghao de associations take part in collective activities such as organising temple festivals and pilgrimages.[4] The purpose of their ritual and collective worship is to make rènào (热闹), that is "social living" or "social harmony".[5]


The designation Xinghao de or "Good-Doers" originated with the spread of the Catholic Church in the Pear Area over the last two-hundred years.[6] The locals following the native faith named themselves Xinghao de in contrast with Catholics, who in the area were called Fèngjiào de (奉教的).[7] Catholics nowadays remain less than 3% of the population of the Pear Area.[8]

Religious specialists[edit]

In Hebei folk religion, religious specialists that mediate with the gods are known as xiāngdàode (香道的), and they cooperate with Good-Doing groups.[9] The major ritual practice of xiangdaode is provide communities of Good-Doers with "incense reading" (看香 kànxiāng), "incense watching" (瞧香 qiáoxiāng) or "incense kindling" (打香 dǎxiāng).[10] They are mostly female and are also called by the general terms shénpó (神婆) or xiāngtóu (香頭 "incense heads").

In the Pear Area, one can acquire the ministry of xiangdaode either through afflatus (or vocation, 仙根 xiāngēn) or acquisition (ordination from another specialist).[11] Often they claim that they are spiritual disciples (童儿 tónger) of the Four Great Gates, whose specialists operated in Beijing in the 1940s, thus connecting their practice with the shamanism of northeast China.[12]


The deities (神神 shénshen) of Good-Doers are divided into two classes:[13]

  • Family gods (家神 jiāshén), the patron gods of any family of Good-Doers. They can be pan-Chinese deities such as Guandi or uniquely local deities such as the Goddess of the Nine Lotuses.
  • Full gods (全神 quánshén), who are gods of the three planes of the world (Heaven, Earth and Underworld).

The Horse God (马神 Mǎshén or 马王 Mǎwáng) has a particular importance in the worldview of Good-Doers.[14][15] Gods that are particularly beloved for their efficacy have independent shrines or temples called xiān jiā táng (仙家堂 "church of the family-god" or "house church of the god") or xiān jiā tán (仙家坛 "altar of the family-god" or "house altar of the god"), that often start from the house and congregation of popular xiangdaode (shamans).[16][17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hua, 2011. p. 1
  2. ^ Hua, 2011. p. 1
  3. ^ Hua, Will of the Dragon, 2013.
  4. ^ Hua, 2013. p. 4
  5. ^ Hua, 2013. p. 6, pp. 10-12
  6. ^ Yue, 2014. pp. 55-56
  7. ^ Yue, 2014. pp. 55-56
  8. ^ Yue, 2014. p. 56
  9. ^ Yue, 2014. p. 52
  10. ^ Yue, 2014. p. 53
  11. ^ Yue, 2014. p. 61
  12. ^ Yue, 2014. p. 61
  13. ^ Yue, 2014. p. 58
  14. ^ Yue, 2014. p. 59
  15. ^ Yue, 2014. p. 69
  16. ^ Yue, 2014. p. 59
  17. ^ Yue, 2014. p. 76


External links[edit]