The Custom of “Guanyin Loan-Granting Day”

观音借库
(Image source: I-Stock)

In Chinese folklore, the 26th day of the first lunar month is the day when Guanyin, the Goddess of Mercy, opens the treasury and lends money to the people, and many believers choose to participate in the Loan Granting Ceremony and pray for good fortune at Guanyin temples, and this year's Guanyin Loan Granting Day falls on 6 March 2024.

Guanyin loan-granting means that Guanyin will open the treasury and lend money to the people. Legend has it that when Guanyin was practicing, 500 arhats in the form of monks descended to the mortal world to test Guanyin's cultivation and went to her temple to beg for food. Seeing the incarnated monks begging for help, Guanyin opened the treasury on the 26th day of the first lunar month and served food to the monks. After the monks had eaten their fill, the rest of the food was shared with the worshippers.

There is also a saying that Guanyin opens the treasury on this day to provide relief to the people and to allow farmers without food to borrow grain to plant. Therefore, every year on the 26th day of the first lunar month, many people come to Guanyin temples to pray for blessings and to "borrow" money from Guanyin.

The procedure of "borrowing money" is simple, believers only need to pay homage to Guanyin, give their names, ages, house numbers and chant what they want in their hearts, then they can borrow the red packets from Guanyin. Afterwards, people can put the red packets in their wallets or money boxes to bless them with good fortune in the coming year.

On the 26th day of the first month of each year, apart from those who come to borrow money from the treasury, there are also those who come to "repay the loan". During the repayment ceremony, in addition to returning the red packets previously borrowed, the devotees are required to prepare another red packet and explain to the Goddess of Mercy the purpose of their visit.

It is recommended not to be playful or disrespectful when worshipping Guanyin and to keep a sincere heart; and not to be greedy or pray for illegal things when borrowing money from the treasury, one should keep a good heart.

#万富 #继承传统

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