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Chinese Held Boat-Burning Rituals
praying for Premier Wen's Downfall

10 January 2013

This is a banner displayed on a boat burning ceremony on the new year's eve in Chongqing. On the banner there are two lines that were lifted from Chairman Mao's poem See Off Wen Shen. (送瘟神). "Wen" can be interpreted both as a pandemic disease and Chinese premier Wen Jiabao, while Shen in here means devil.

Chongqing residents burned boats on the new year's day to see off Wen Jiabao

On the new year's eve 2013, a large number of Chongqing residents congregated at the shore of the Yangtze River to conduct a ritual prayer for Premier Wen's downfall in the new year. During the ritual, they burned a makeshift timber boat and paper boats, symbolising that people's wrath will eventually explode and destroy Wen Jiabao empire.

The inspiration to hold a boat burning ceremony came from the last two lines of Chairman Mao's poem - See Off Devil Wen.

A copy of Premier Wen Jiabao's photo was tied onto a makeshift craft which was then pushed into the river, flew down stream towards the ocean and eventually sank to the bottom of the abyss.

Wen Jiabao's image on a hell-bound lonely journey.

Also sent to night river were eight paper boats decorated with white triangle flags, which are typically the items sent to deceased.

A spooky scene of white paper boats with flickering candle flames in dark river on the new year's eve

Never was a leader hated so passionately by his people in Chinese living memory but Premier Wen. That has a lot for Wen Jiabao to reflect on (反思).


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