A young Vietnamese woman’s husband fell ill. Desperate for a cure, she
later recounted, she visited the local Buddhist temple. A monk there
instructed her to “release 40 birds, one for every year of your
husband’s life.” So she did, purchasing and releasing 40 birds at the
temple grounds. The woman soon rejoiced; her husband made a full
grew up in a Christian family in Sibu where many people were
Christians. I did not know about Fong San, "release a life" until I went
to Singapore. An Indian friend's husband, a colleague of my husband,
Prof in NTU found a tortoise with red paint written on the underbelly of
the tortoise. She did not know what it meant. A friend explained Fong
San. She said this is a bad custom, Fong San in this case meant getting the tortoise to carry away the bad luck/sickness to the person who picks it up.
I have found out since other reasons, and in my latest book, I wrote about it.
Thanks Ritchie for writing about it. He uses the term 放生 (Fàngshēng) which is in Mandarin.
Religion aside, some people during weddings and funerals, release doves etc. Environmentally this is frown on.
A reader commented:
truth meaning of fangsheng is not releasing bad luck or sickness. It's
releasing of a capture animal's life to harvest good karma.