Some say that beating the petty person is how Hongkongers deal with stress. Due to Hong Kong being a busy and hectic place.
Have you ever wondered what the ladies under the causeway fly-over where doing? There all year round, you can hear incantations and shoes slapping. The ladies are the “beaters” in a ritual called beating the petty person.
This unique practice consist on choosing a person you wish to punish or get revenge from. To perform the small ritual bring along some joss stick, incense, a petty person and find a beater.
If there is not a specific person in mind, it is possible to aim the ritual at something more general. A type of person, an imaginary person, or a person with no name. This aims to avoid meeting such person or remove potential enemies.
It is a similar ritual to voodoo dolls practices. With the intention of unleashing negative energy toward an object symbolising the person or something. So that the urge for physical pain lessens.
The location of the ritual is important as it needs to be a place where a lot of malevolent forces gather. Thus locations chosen are bottom of a bridge, crossroad or a hillside.
As mentioned above people practice the ritual all year long. There is a time where more people are “present”. This is during early spring, Jingzhe which translate to the awakening of insects.
During this period the thunder awakens harmful elements. Such as the white tigers (a symbol of harm) villains and petty persons. Those who believe in the superstition will practice Da Xiao Ren or Da Siu Yen (beating the petty person). In order to prevent the creatures from inflicting harm.