Giving Babies The Right Way

Okay, okay, I’ve been dwelling on the dark side of Taoism for too long. Sure, 19 Incredible Taoist Gods was an awesome series of sweet court officer pix, and Terrible Moments from a Taoist Temple was a collection of terrifying dioramas, but what about the lighter, cuter side of the religion? Is there one? OF COURSE!

The sign in the temple — another wing of Pingyao’s ancient Temple of the City God, or Chénghuáng Sì (城隍寺) — announced this was the Giving Babies Hall (送生殿, sòng shēng diàn), then went on to explain “It’s a saying in Daoism that a person who does good things in his life will get a human being’s metempsychosis.”

Metempsychosis? My dictionary explains that to be “transmigration of the soul, especially the passage of the soul after death from a human or animal to some other human or animal body.” Sweet!

The sign continued with lore: “The metempsychosis Aunt sent the metempsychosis brother to give a baby who was the preexistence person to every family.” Now if that makes any sense to you, please break it down for me. My guess is, these are good souls, reincarnated into cute sparkling basket babies. Drop some coins here, and avoid too many sins, and you might end up here, too.

In the meantime, some more awesome photos of the temple….

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