Tag Archives: Customs

Divination (Bǔshì 卜筮)

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 … Continue reading

Posted in Berkshire Encyclopedia of China, Religion, Religion or Philosophy, Values and Worldview | Tagged , , | Comments Off

Religion, Folk (Mínjiān zōngjiào 民間宗教)

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 … Continue reading

Posted in Berkshire Encyclopedia of China, Religion, Religion or Philosophy, Values and Worldview | Tagged , , | Comments Off

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

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 … Continue reading

Posted in Berkshire Encyclopedia of China, Religion, Religion or Philosophy, Values and Worldview | Tagged , , | Comments Off

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

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 … Continue reading

Posted in Berkshire Encyclopedia of China, Religion, Religion or Philosophy, Values and Worldview | Tagged , , | Comments Off

Ancestor Worship (Jìdiàn zǔxiān 祭奠祖先)

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 … Continue reading

Posted in Berkshire Encyclopedia of China, Religion, Religion or Philosophy, Values and Worldview | Tagged , | Comments Off

Hungry Ghost Festival (Zhōngyuánjié 中元节)

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 … Continue reading

Posted in Berkshire Encyclopedia of China, Festival, History, Arts, and Culture | Tagged , , | Comments Off

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

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 … Continue reading

Posted in Berkshire Encyclopedia of China, Festival, History, Arts, and Culture | Tagged , , , | Comments Off

Qingming Festival (Qīngmíngjié 清明节)

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 … Continue reading

Posted in Berkshire Encyclopedia of China, Festival, History, Arts, and Culture | Tagged , , | Comments Off

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

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 … Continue reading

Posted in Berkshire Encyclopedia of China, Festival, History, Arts, and Culture | Tagged , , | Comments Off

Wine Culture (Jiǔ wénhuà 酒文化)

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 … Continue reading

Posted in Berkshire Encyclopedia of China, Customs, Society and Social Welfare | Tagged , | Comments Off