In Dong language, the full name of this special goddess is Sa Ma Tian Sui, when translated into the Chinese, she would be called. They compared her beauty as that of the phoenix and her bravery more than a lioness while protecting her young. It is said from these traits of hers that the present day Dong people inherit their gentle and romantic nature; and the courage to face whatever hardship coming their way.
Wherever the Dong people make their homes, there will always be a sacrificial altar built for the Goddess Sa Sui. This altar is called, 'Sa Altar'. In Zhaoxing and the surrounding areas, most of the Sa Altar are buil near the Drum Towers. With a circular mound of soil and stone as the base, usually about one meter high and three meters in diameter, an altar of cobblestone completes the construction of an altar. The Sa Altar is regarded as the most sacred place in a Dong village. When no sacrificial ceremony is being held, no one is allowed to enter the area casually.
The sacrificial ceremony is the most actively participated celebration for all the Dong residents. There are many sacrificial ceremonies held every year: New Year celebration, harvesting time, journey to other lands, special family events, facing attacks from enemies, and getting ready for war.
In addition to the worship of the Goddess of Sa Sui, the Jitang tribe of the Dong also offers sacrifice to their own seven historical female heroes every year. There were once seven grandmothers of the Jitang tribe who lost their precious lives while defending their native land. The sacrificial ceremony continues to be a way of paying respect to the heroic acts of their ancestors.
Zhaoxing Tang'An Chengyang
Culture of Dongs
Sanyuejie Festival Marriage Customs Music New Year Traditional costumes
Drum Towers Flower Bridges Lusheng Festival
Dong Houses Carrying the Governors Parade
Drama Rice Planting Traditional Common Law Worship the Goddess Sa Sui