Zhangjiajie folk taboo
Threshold of the taboo
Fireplace is a holy place in the minority peoples’ mind. It is the attachments of their ancestors’ spirits. They prohibit anyone from above, across, or use the pedal iron in the fireplace. It is taboos such these as that people bake on the fireplace pants, socks, diapers, people spit towards iron , people put their legs into the iron bracket and so on. These behaviors will be thought disrespect for all of god's and blasphemy and punished for the violating the gods. If visitors break the taboo for not knowing it, the host will not be pleased.
Threshold of the taboo
Threshold, especially the threshold of the church, is shrine for tujia people. Guests can't sit on the threshold, which is a kind of abusive behavior to the host in tujia people’s mind. In addition, children are not allowed to cut with anvil cutting objects in the threshold. If someone cut loss in the threshold, his offspring will suffer from cleft lip. Tujia people taboo of threshold is from the location of the threshold. Because it is opposite to the shrine, if someone damages or steps to sit on it, which will directly affect the ancestral spirits.
Taboo between subject and object
It is prohibited for tujia people to serve guests for dog meat. In tujia people’s mind, dog is unfavorable for food .And it is not polite to the guests. The number three, seven, eight are avoided using for dishes. It is commonly known as "three bowls means nothing" "seven means violence, eight is thief, nine is roaming the world and nowhere to live.” It is taboo to use a big bowl to hold rice for the guests. Putting the foot on the chair is not polite for others. If the guest is seated, the host wants to walk, they can go to the way behind the guest and can not walk in front of the guests. If the place is not wide enough, the host must go in front of the guest, they have to say "Excuse me”, otherwise it is disrespect for the guests. After everyone has sit down, young guests are not allowed to cross legs in front of the elder, otherwise it is disrespect to the host. If guests did not get the permission of the owner, they would not enter his room (bedroom), especially daughters’ bedrooms, which is on diaojiao building. Otherwise the host will be angry. After dinner the guests can't place the chopsticks into the bowl as cross. This behavior is offensive in tujia people's minds. After the dinner, it is best to place chopsticks neatly beside the bowl. This acquisition is still prevalent today.
It is avoided to start traveling in seventh, ninth of each month and return home in eighth. According to folk songs calling "It is banned to go out in seventh and return in every eighth. Or there will be many bad things happen in every nine to go out of the door ". Tujia people also believes that it is avoided going out of town at the snakes’ day in the lunar of January, April, July, October and the chooks’ day in wintermoon of march, June, September. Because these days are the red evil spirit day, as the saying goes "Go out in the red evil spirit, never to return home". When people go out to visit friends and relatives or handle affairs, if the first they to meet is a woman, they will not go out and wait to go out again the next day. If the first to meet is male, the second is a woman, they will go. Because this behavior is contempt for woman, it has been abolished today.
Zhangjiajie diet taboo
Passing from tujia diet snakes, snakes are tujia people ancestors, it is offensive for food. If someone would steal to eat it, it must happen in the wild, otherwise you will poison. If tujia people would eat cat, he or she were thought that there will be a disaster. Above two kinds of taboo, they are with some ancient totem taboo. Part of tujia people thought that they are descendants of Ba people and make the snake and tiger as their totem. It is because the cat and the tiger look like similar, so they are on the list of taboos. New Miaozu people (partial) can not eat dog, it is ancient totem taboo. Merchant and tujia can not eat crow, because for them it is a kind of ominous birds. If tujia people eat eagles, they think, which will be destruction for them. They are disabled to knock chopsticks before and after the dinner, give a person more rice or wine, avoid buckling the bowl upon the table after dinner. Tujia people avoid eating behind others and using two bowls to eat a meal, or they will be thought "Eat two bowls. And after dying, being buried only two eyes".
The end of the year’s meal taboo
In New Year's eve reunion dinner they have to close the door to eat, which is to avoid new year’s good luck slipping away. When others’ families have reunion dinner, they can not go to visit others. At this special dinner, they can't talk about ominous words as 'dead man "and" ghosts ". When the Cooperative people have the dinner, because of the similar sound between “garlic” and “separate” in Chinese, food are not allowed to put garlic in. when they have the dinner, if someone broke the bowl or glass vessel, which will be thought it is a auspicious sign for next year.
Zhangjiajie tujia animal taboo
The sound of crow is ominous. After you drive the crow away, it is still cowing on the roof or flying on your head in the morning, which is a disaster symptom of a bad luck beginning.
The sound of cuckoo is ominous. In every spring, is start to chirp. If it was the first time for them to hear the sound, they would think it is unlucky.
The sound of owl is ominous. In tujia people’s mind, owl is ominous bird. They are especially scared to their sound. Because the sound was thought to be dead voice.
It is ominous to see the wrapped snake. It is said that if anyone saw it, the destruction would come to him or her. Generally, if you killed two snakes with a stone or wood, you can eliminate catastrophe.
Every kind of animal has their meanings in tujia people’s mind. As a saying goes "poor pig, rich dog, unlucky cat ".If wild raccoon dog go into the house, chicken is on the tree, the dog is in the house, there will be a disaster. When the business men hear the crow call, they will come back in case of bad luck.