Hedgehog Spirits in Traditional Chinese Culture and Today
This paper will discuss narratives and folk beliefs about hedgehogs in traditional
China and how they develop in modern society. In Chinese culture hedgehogs can
belong to the two different types of spirits: a hedgehog-demon, who can turn into
man or a sacred animal called Baixian (White immortal), one of the four or five
sacred animals, who were worshipped mostly in Northern China.
The cult of sacred animals was very popular until the middle of the 20th century and
becomes popular again nowadays, but only two of four animals, foxes and weasels
are still considered to be the powerful spirits. Nevertheless the hedgehog spirits still
remain in popular culture and the paper aims to analyze the transformation of its
functions and features in the network literature and messages.