Harmony between humans and Sea

Zhongshan: On December 11, 2022, over 100 residents of the Zhongshan community in Xiamen, a coastal city in Fujian Province, carried a brand-new wooden boat 4 km to the seaside before setting it on fire in front of thousands of onlookers. Making an offering of the boat, known as a wangchuan, literally meaning a boat for Ong Yah, a deity believed to protect the community from disaster.
After being carried to the seaside, the boat was set down with its bow facing the ocean and its stern to the community before being set alight. The ritual is complete once the ship’s highest mast collapses in the flames. Known as the wangchuan ceremony, the practice was added to the UNESCO list of intangible cultural heritage in 2020.
According to Zhong Qingfeng, one of Xiamen’s inheritors of wangchuan shipbuilding, those who have died at sea become lonely wandering souls, so the ceremony has been held every three or four years in 14 communities across the city to summon those who died at sea in that time and deliver them from torment. “People also pray for safe ocean voyages, good weather, a prosperous country and a peaceful life during the ritual,” Zhong told Beijing Review.
Each of the 14 communities in Xiamen holds the ceremony on a different date, mostly during the last two months of the lunar year. It takes months to prepare for the ceremony, which is made up of three phases: ship building, a parade and ship burning.
–The Daily Mail-Beijing review news exchange item