Part of a paper robe

This orange paper cut-out with a dragon motif is used to form a paper robe. The robe is burnt as an offering to a male deity. Burnt offerings are integral to Taoist worship and rituals. Offerings are burnt as gifts during temple festivals to commemorate the birthdays of gods and deities. At Taoist funerals, burnt offerings are made to ensure that the deceased enjoys a comfortable life in the netherworld. The articles burnt as offerings are made from paper and are often imitations of real objects. They can be purchased from shops dedicated to selling these religious paraphernalia, which are referred to locally as “paper shops”. These shops sell a wide range of items, from elaborately decorated paper houses, cars and furniture, to bank notes and garments. The paper garments are usually life-size. They follow closely the iconographic conventions of opera costumes. Chinese operas are performed as entertainment for the gods as part of Taoist religious festivities.