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Shaoxing Zhufu I

Due to the long history, Shaoxing has accumulated and handed down characteristic culture: Yue Culture. As an important part of Yue Culture and a traditional folk custom of Shaoxing, Zhufu still has great influence on Shaoxing people and their life nowadays.

Zhufu, or Worshipping the God of Blessing, is also called Zuofu. It is the most prominent sacrifice ceremony in a year in Shaoxing. It dates from Yuan Dynasty, and the gods worshipped are Nan Chao Sheng Zhong and Huang Shan Xi Nan. It is said that when the government of Song Dynasty was overthrown by the Mongolian army and Song Dynasty was replaced by Yuan Dynasty, the original citizens of Song Dynasty, namely the Han people, were extremely afraid of the newly established minority political power. They secretly offered sacrifice to the emperors of South Song Dynasty and those patriotic martyrs who died to save the nation at midnight. 

Nan Chao Sheng Zhong refers to a group of martyrs, who died the war of resistance against the Mongolian invasion, including the Emperor Zhao Bing, the last emperor of South Song Dynasty, Wen Tianxiang, the prime minister of South Song Dynasty, who was captured but didn’t give up to the enemy and later was killed by the Yuan Government, and Lu Xiufu, a patriotic official who committed suicide together with Emperor Zhao Bing, etc. Huang Shan Xi Nan refers to two anonymous brothers who sacrificed their lives to save the civilians from being killed by the Mongolian army. In memory of the brothers, the local people named them after the place where they were killed and offered sacrifice to the portrait or statue of the brothers.

It is said that the Mongolian nobilities, the ruling class of Yuan Dynasty, treated Han people harshly, and therefore, Han people created and cleverly disguised the gods: Nan Chao Sheng Zhong and Huang Shan Xi Nan to mourn for the lost nation and the patriotic martyrs and pray for their blessing. The ruling class only knew the ostensible purpose of the sacrificing ceremony held annually. That was to entertain the God of Blessing and pray for the next year’s good harvest and harmony. The ceremony was handed down from generation to generation and finally it became a convention. And its political meaning gradually dimmed. It became a pure sacrificing ceremony, which was held annually to render thanks to the God of Blessing for all his blessings and pray for the next year’s blessing.






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