Shanghai, and in particular, Pudong, was the last place I expected to chance upon a traditional Taoist ceremony. But there you go, even China’s financial center is sitting on top of some leftover animist beliefs.
This recording is of a birthday party for the god Dongyue, who presides over Mount Tai (Tai Shan), China’s supreme sacred mountain. So how do Shanghainese Taoists celebrate birthdays? With plenty of liquor, pumpkin seeds, and peanuts, plus over twenty-five large bags of specially folded paper money, which was burned for Dong Yue after the ceremony. Pudong is an expensive place to live, after all, even for a god.[audio:Taoist1.mp3]