Post Tagged with: "Customs"

Divination (Bǔshì 卜筮)|Bǔshì 卜筮 (Divination)

Divination (Bǔshì 卜筮)|Bǔshì 卜筮 (Divination)

John G. BLAIR and Jerusha McCORMACK A fortuneteller in a nineteenth-century photograph. Harvard Yenching Library Archives. COURTESY OF JOAN LEBOLD COHEN. Since prehistoric times Chinese have tried to predict the future by interpreting oracle bones, signs in the sky, and stalks of plants. The newest form of divination practiced in China is feng shui. Divination (practices that seek to predict […]

Religion, Folk (Mínjiān zōngjiào 民間宗教)|Mínjiān zōngjiào 民間宗教 (Religion, Folk)

Religion, Folk (Mínjiān zōngjiào 民間宗教)|Mínjiān zōngjiào 民間宗教 (Religion, Folk)

Terence C. RUSSELL Wood engraving of a Thunder God. Throughout the premodern era the masses of the Chinese people, most of whom lived in small rural villages, remained faithful to their local gods. But they also perceived that the world was inhabited and affected by great numbers of unseen forces and beings. The objective of folk religion was to enlist […]

Religious Practice, Contemporary (Dāngdài zōngjiào huódòng 当代宗教活动)|Dāngdài zōngjiào huódòng 当代宗教活动 (Religious Practice, Contemporary)

Religious Practice, Contemporary (Dāngdài zōngjiào huódòng 当代宗教活动)|Dāngdài zōngjiào huódòng 当代宗教活动 (Religious Practice, Contemporary)

Jinghao ZHOU Chinese people clamoring to touch the stone lion at the 1,700-year-old Guangxiaosi Buddhist temple. There are reportedly more than 100 million religious believers in modern China, and most profess faith in one of these three traditions—Confucianism, Daosim, and Buddhism. As of 2007 China had about 13,000 Buddhist temples and 200,000 Buddhist monks and nuns. PHOTO BY ROBERT EATON. […]

Religious Practice, Historical (Shǐshàng zōngjiào huódòng 史上宗教活动)|Shǐshàng zōngjiào huódòng 史上宗教活动 (Religious Practice, Historical)

Religious Practice, Historical (Shǐshàng zōngjiào huódòng 史上宗教活动)|Shǐshàng zōngjiào huódòng 史上宗教活动 (Religious Practice, Historical)

Jinghao ZHOU Historical illustration of worship of Heaven and Earth at New Year. Ancestral religion during imperial China involved worshipping ancestors as well as four types of gods: heavenly gods, earthly gods, human spirits, and material gods. Correspondingly, it sanctioned four types of worship: of heaven, of land (Earth), of ancestors, and of grain. The Chinese people believed that their […]

Ancestor Worship (Jìdiàn zǔxiān 祭奠祖先)|Jìdiàn zǔxiān 祭奠祖先 (Ancestor Worship)

Ancestor Worship (Jìdiàn zǔxiān 祭奠祖先)|Jìdiàn zǔxiān 祭奠祖先 (Ancestor Worship)

Jeffrey L. RICHEY Burning joss sticks (incense) and offering food are traditional practices meant to please gods and ancestors. PHOTO BY JOAN LEBOLD COHEN. Devotees of nearly every religious tradition in China participate in ancestor worship, the rituals in which one commemorates, communicates with, or makes sacrifices to one’s deceased relatives. It is among the oldest and most enduring of […]

Hungry Ghost Festival (Zhōngyuánjié 中元节)|Zhōngyuánjié 中元节 (Hungry Ghost Festival)

Hungry Ghost Festival (Zhōngyuánjié 中元节)|Zhōngyuánjié 中元节 (Hungry Ghost Festival)

YEOH Seng-Guan Supplicants come to a temple in southern China to burn joss (incense) sticks to please their ancestors. They also bring food and drink to feed the hungry spirits. PHOTO BY JOAN LEBOLD COHEN. Celebrants believe that during the annual Hungry Ghost Festival the gates of hell are thrown open, and ghosts are once again free to roam and […]

Ami Harvest Festival (Āměizú fēngniánjì 阿美族丰年祭)|Āměizú fēngniánjì 阿美族丰年祭 (Ami Harvest Festival)

Ami Harvest Festival (Āměizú fēngniánjì 阿美族丰年祭)|Āměizú fēngniánjì 阿美族丰年祭 (Ami Harvest Festival)

Bent NIELSEN Boys coming by in turn to sing and dance in front of the elders, 1989. PHOTO BY UBE YAMAGUCHI. As one of Taiwan’s aboriginal tribes, the Ami continue to live together in villages and practice their ancient customs and rituals. The most significant of their traditional celebrations, commonly known as the Harvest Festival, is still held annually throughout […]

Qingming Festival (Qīngmíngjié 清明节)|Qīngmíngjié 清明节 (Qingming Festival)

Qingming Festival (Qīngmíngjié 清明节)|Qīngmíngjié 清明节 (Qingming Festival)

Haiwang YUAN In the handscroll Peace Reigns over the River, by Zhang Zeduan and believed by art historians to depict the celebration of the Qing-Ming Festival in modern-day Kaifeng, street hawkers offer food, drink, and fans to passersby. Officially reinstated as an official holiday in 2007, the Qingming (clear and bright 清明) Festival is a day of both sorrow and joy. […]

New Year (Spring Festival) (Nónglì Nián (Chūnjié) 农历年 (春节))|Nónglì Nián (Chūnjié) 农历年 (春节) (New Year (Spring Festival))

New Year (Spring Festival) (Nónglì Nián (Chūnjié) 农历年 (春节))|Nónglì Nián (Chūnjié) 农历年 (春节) (New Year (Spring Festival))

HUANG Shu-min and Haiwang YUAN For overseas Chinese the Lion and Dragon Dance, as well as an especially festive marketplace boasting stalls devoted to food, cultural exhibits, and calligraphy, is a much-anticipated New Year’s event in Chinatowns worldwide. PHOTO BY PAUL AND BERNICE NOLL. Spring Festival, or Chinese Lunar New Year, is as important to the Chinese in China and […]

Wine Culture (Jiǔ wénhuà 酒文化)|Jiǔ wénhuà 酒文化 (Wine Culture)

Wine Culture (Jiǔ wénhuà 酒文化)|Jiǔ wénhuà 酒文化 (Wine Culture)

Haiwang YUAN A table setting at the Great Hall of the People, including fluted wine glasses. Alcoholic beverage consumption in China is influenced by traditional customs of hospitality and the social protocols of modern business. PHOTO BY TOM CHRISTENSEN. The use of alcoholic beverages in China has been continuous throughout its history. Today, with traditional customs of hospitality supplemented by […]