Shuanwawa (Tying down a Baby)
Date:[2006-12-5 15:37:12]

The so-called Shuanwawa, literally “tying down a baby”, is a popular local custom of praying for a baby. The “baby” here refers to a kind of clay figure which is molded out of yellow mud and then stenciled with different colors after being dried. The clay baby can be a boy or a girl. The place to fasten clay babies is usually set in the vicinity of Chongsheng Gate and in the Sleeping Halls of Zhongyue Temple. The woman who expects a baby shall kneel down and burn the incense in front of the statues of Great Emperor Songyue and the Queen. The red string used to bind the neck of clay baby usually takes a shape of butterfly, very nice looking.

Taking over the clay baby, women will carry it home and put it bedside or under reed mat. If they succeed in giving birth to a baby as expected, they will return to the Zhongyue Temple to redeem her wish to Queen Songyue.

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