Daoism and Cct

Holidays and Regular Observances

What is the most important Daoist observance?

A grand affair called the ritual of Cosmic Renewal occurs at varying intervals in different places. It was once on a sixty-year cycle, according to the ancient calendar reckoning calculated with the “branches and stems.” Some temples celebrate this way as often as every ten years now. Whenever a community erects a new temple it is time for a renewal ritual. This major festival belongs to a larger category called jiao. Ritual specialists from the so-called Black Hat group have exclusive rights to officiate in these events. A standard feature is recitation from the Jade Emperor Scripture, and the focus of prayer is on seeking blessings of all kinds for the future. Massive organizational efforts precede the larger celebrations. They include interviewing prospective high priests from whom the committee can choose a leader, who will then arrange for a full staff of ritual specialists. Full-scale festivities require extensive construction of temporary altars or shrines. Celebrations nowadays typically go on for from three to five days, though they formerly lasted as long as nearly two months.


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