Baidou (also Kedou known as, Dipper Worship)
Formally called “Chao Zhen Li Dou” in Chinese, Dipper Worship is a unique Taoist ceremony considered to bless and save human beings from misfortune and disasters.
Founded by Celestial Master Zhang Daoling, Dipper Worship has a long history which can be traced back to the first year of the reign of Emperor Yongshou, according to Big Dipper Scripture, the Grand Supreme Elderly Lord (Tai Shang Lao Jun in Chinese) Sheng Yuju imparted the secret for extension of life to Zhang on the seventh day of the first lunar month; since then the Big Dipper has been known as a Celestial Pivot that dominates the Heaven and Earth. The statesman in the Western Han Dynasty Huo Guang and the chancellor in the Shu Han Dynasty Zhuge Liang, also known as Kongming, had ever worshipped Big Dipper for averting misfortune and disasters.
What is the relationship between the Big Dipper and human beings?
Taoists believe that the Dippers determine life and death. It is believed that the Southern Dipper determines life, having the power to let an embryo develop into a fetus; the Big Dipper determines death, and a star is an incarnation of one’s soul with its destination to the Big Dipper.
Why do people worship the Big Dipper?
People participate in the ceremony to express gratitude to their own path or fate, hoping for success and breeze through life.
When can one perform the ritual?
1. On the occasion of the god’s birthday.
2. At the completion of construction of, renovation of, or extension to a temple, or during the Taoist ritual offerings.
3. On the first and fifteenth day of every lunar month
4. From the first to the ninth day of the first lunar month on the occasions of the advent of the Southern Dipper and the Big Dipper, and the birthday of Dipper Mother. The Star Lords are also known as the Nine Emperor Gods.
How is the ritual?
Dipper Worship is a very sacred and mysterious ceremony which must be hosted by a highly skillful Master who steps out a dipper-shaped route in order to communicate with the deities. It is not a simple ritual.
How can one take part in the ritual?
The worshiper should first register the name, date and time of birth (according to the Lunar Calendar) of each of one’s family member to the host temple. During the ritual, the worshiper has to purify oneself by means of ablution and fasting, and bring flowers and fruits to the temple as offerings to the Dippers.