Daoism and Cct

Customs and Rituals

How do Daoists worship at home and throughout the day when they are not in temples?

Worshippers perform at home many of the same rituals they perform in the temple. Home shrines or family altars are miniature versions of the temple’s sacred objects. Smaller images of the various deities enjoy places of honor. Before the image family members place a few apples or oranges, for example, and small incense pots hold small burning sticks just as the kettle in the temple courtyard does. Many devout Chinese begin their day by offering incense to the terrestrial deity of the home, who is sometimes depicted as five separate figures recalling the five elements. This Earth deity is at the bottom of an administrative “flow chart,” reporting to the district deity, who in turn reports to the city god, and he to the country god. Offerings to family ancestors and consultation with an almanac as to the spiritual qualities of the particular day are other regular rituals. Many private individuals still practice tai ji chuan, a set of rhythmic movements designed to balance Yin and Yang and maximize energy.


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