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Chapter RT 265-270

RLG100Y1 Chapter Notes - Chapter RT 265-270: Mao Zedong, Lantern Festival, Harvest Festival


Department
Religion
Course Code
RLG100Y1
Professor
Arti Dhand
Chapter
RT 265-270

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Chinese Folk Traditions
Long before the rise of Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism, people in CHina had developed
strong attachments to ancestral gods and many of the ancient folk traditions are still alive and
well in China
Part of the Chinese “lived religion” and are blended with the aforementioned religions but
there is no need to distinguish the differences and origins of practices no need to say that
you went to a Taoist wedding, a Buddhist funeral or a traditionally folk harvest festival
Rituals in Chinese Traditions
The longest and most important holiday is the celebration of the New Year which begins with
the new moon on the first day of the lunay year and ends with the full moon fifteen days later,
the Lantern Festival
Ch’ing Ming: another popular festival, a day for remembering the ancestors; celebrated on
the third day of the third month where families visit the graves of dead relatives, offer
sacrifices and clean up or repair the grave
• Weddings
The main function is to join the two people and the two families and to ensure many
descendants
The day of the wedding is chosen carefully according to astrological signs
The colour red is very present on the day; symbolic of love, joy and prosperity
The colour of the wedding gown is red
The bride-to-be lives with her best friends before the wedding to symbolically mourn
the loss of her friends and faily
The groom installs a bridal bed the day before, and on the day is dressed by his
parents
The ceremony is simple: the couple bows three times to Heaven and Earth, to their
ancestors, and to the kitchen god, Tsao Chun who watches over the family
The couple then bow to each other at the end of the ceremony and they are married
• Funerals
Clothing, towels, money, even a toothbrush may be placed in the coffin, mourners
think the next world is similar to this one
Sometimes even cellphones and computers are even put in
At the wake, the family gathers around the coffin
Children and daughters-in-law wear black to show that they are grieving the most
Grandchildren wear blue, great-grandchildren wear light blue
Sons-in-laws wear bright colours like white to show that they are outsiders
Food is placed in front of the coffin as an offering
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