Religion and Beliefs

The Candle Worship:
The Candle Worship is the rite which believed by Shan that after finish it can help protecting and getting rid of misfortune or bad luck and escaping all danger. It can make luckiness, and long life. Lighting the candle is very familiar among the Buddhists. The Buddhists believe that “candle” is the symbol of Buddha’s Teaching; therefore, using the candle in the rite has been already used for a long time. In the past the villagers prepare the candle to be lit by hand by using real wax which taking from stewing beehive then separate the wax out and put into the vessel such as a bowl, a plate wait until it becomes cold after that cut it with a knife into pieces. When it will be used to make a candle the wax will be brought to roll on the smooth floor until it becomes a round bar which is ready to be a candle for lighting. Lighting the candle not only the symbol of worship for Buddha’s Teaching but also it is believed that the candle that has been made by the one who knows well about “the Candle Worship” will help to get rid of misfortune, have luckiness, and long life. So The Candle Worship then is one of the rites that Shan prefer doing until now.

Ghost Feeding:
Buddhism is the main religion of Shan only few of them who believe in other religions. In case of the real life style they all still believe about some ghosts’ e.g. Ruler spirit, earth ghost, forest demon, water ghost, farm ghost, household spirit etc. They will be very careful not to have any insult happen. Then there is the worship and the belief about ghost feeding in each community which is similar, for example, there will be Ruler Spirit Feeding Worship in month 7 of every year which has been called “Country Feeding Worship” because there is the belief that the ruler spirit will take good care to the villagers to stay in peace and happiness. Moreover, there still be another ghost feeding worship in another occasion but it is held in the simple way not too difficult e.g. on Buddhist holy day they will make a small banana leaf bowl which called “Gawg Tang” in Shan put with some food and sweet or betel nut, cigarette etc. then put it at some places such as houses, farms, fields, mines, dams, including spirit house, which they respect, then light the candle and pray. Ghost Feeding is the rite and the belief that held since the ancient time. In case of some community is in town the mentioned worship and the belief may disappear according to the change of the society in globalization world.


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