24 Solar Terms: 6 things you may not know about Awakening of Insects
A painting of people beating "villains". [File photo]
"Villain" hitting originated in the Tang Dynasty (618-907) and it's a folk ritual popular in Guangdong and Hong Kong. The custom is practiced during the Awakening of Insects to expel the "villain" and to bring good luck. People often assign a specific "witch" (usually an elderly woman) to "beat the villains". They use paper cut in the shape of humans to represent "villains" in their lives and the "witch" would use shoes or other tools to hit the paper to expel bad luck.
In Hong Kong, the Swan neck bridge between Causeway Bay and Wan Chai has become a popular place for people to beat villains.