Burning of Sacred Text(燒紙)

Headword

소지 ( 燒紙 , Soji )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Folk Beliefs > Worship of Village Gods > Concept

Writer KimHeonsun(金憲宣)

Soji is the burning of a sacred text, written on mulberry paper and torn into a designated size, a religious act performed to purify a secular venue into a sacred one (jeonghwa) or to make a wish.

Soji is categorized into dongminsoji, which involves a villager; daedongsoji, held for the entire village; umasoji, carried out for the proliferation of cattle and horses; and gakseongbajisoji, which involves individuals of different family names.

In a Confucian rite, the sheet containing the prayer text or funeral ode is burned following invocation, signifying the act of reporting to the gods the wishes made in the prayer. A vast range of examples of this ritual process can be found in village rituals, the most widely observed being daedongsoji, which takes place toward the closing, the officiant addressing all members of the community that participated in the ritual and throwing the burning sheets high up in the air to make a wish. Soji also takes the form of a more individualized ceremony on behalf of all members of a family, held as part of a village ritual or home ritual. These procedures are accompanied by wishes for health and safety. It is commonly the shaman who utters these words of private or communal well-wishing as she burns the sheet. This ritual, in the end, is an act of connecting man with the gods by a single sheet of paper burned to ashes. In a shamanic ritual, soji also takes on significance as an act of purification.

Burning of Sacred Text

Burning of Sacred Text
Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Folk Beliefs > Worship of Village Gods > Concept

Writer KimHeonsun(金憲宣)

Soji is the burning of a sacred text, written on mulberry paper and torn into a designated size, a religious act performed to purify a secular venue into a sacred one (jeonghwa) or to make a wish. Soji is categorized into dongminsoji, which involves a villager; daedongsoji, held for the entire village; umasoji, carried out for the proliferation of cattle and horses; and gakseongbajisoji, which involves individuals of different family names. In a Confucian rite, the sheet containing the prayer text or funeral ode is burned following invocation, signifying the act of reporting to the gods the wishes made in the prayer. A vast range of examples of this ritual process can be found in village rituals, the most widely observed being daedongsoji, which takes place toward the closing, the officiant addressing all members of the community that participated in the ritual and throwing the burning sheets high up in the air to make a wish. Soji also takes the form of a more individualized ceremony on behalf of all members of a family, held as part of a village ritual or home ritual. These procedures are accompanied by wishes for health and safety. It is commonly the shaman who utters these words of private or communal well-wishing as she burns the sheet. This ritual, in the end, is an act of connecting man with the gods by a single sheet of paper burned to ashes. In a shamanic ritual, soji also takes on significance as an act of purification.