Refashioning festivals in Republican Guangzhou

Shuk Wah POON

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Influenced by the concept of evolution, the Republican regime branded popular religious beliefs and practices as "superstition," believing that the eradication of "superstition" was crucial to the making of modern citizens. Government policies not only affected the development of popular religion but also reshaped the relationship between the state and the common people. Tracing the changes of the Double Seven Festival and the Ghost Festival in Republican Guangzhou, this article aims to show the complexities of the contestations between the state and the common people in actual religious settings, particularly the interaction between official culture and traditional festivals. It argues that although new national symbols successfully found their way into common people's religious lives, helping to give a nationalistic outlook to traditional festivals, underneath the expansion of an official culture, a rich variety of local traditions persisted. By appropriating official symbols, the common people refashioned and preserved their religious traditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-227
Number of pages29
JournalModern China
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2004


  • Chinese festival
  • Common people
  • Guangzhou history
  • Popular religion
  • Republican China


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