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Handbook of Religion and the Asian CityAspiration and Urbanization in the Twenty-First Century$
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Peter van der Veer

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780520281226

Published to California Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520281226.001.0001

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Urban Processions

Urban Processions

Colonial Decline and Revival as Heritage in Postcolonial Hong Kong

(p.110) 6 Urban Processions
Handbook of Religion and the Asian City

Joseph Bosco

University of California Press

This chapter examines four religious processions in urban Hong Kong: two celebrate the birthday of the deity Tam Kung and the other two are fire dragon processions. It begins with an overview of Hong Kong's Tam Kung temples and fire dragons, along with the place of processions in Chinese folk religion. It then explores how processions reflect Hong Kong's colonial and postcolonial history as well as the state's relationship with religion. It also considers the transformation of neighborhoods from small, isolated communities and how their history is preserved in their religious festivals. Finally, it explains how modernist ideology devalued and suppressed popular religious processions until after the 1997 handover of Hong Kong to China, when they were rediscovered as “heritage”.

Keywords:   religious processions, Hong Kong, Tam Kung, Tam Kung temples, fire dragons, folk religion, religious festivals, heritage

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