Zhongyuan Festival is the name of Taoism. It is called July half, July 14 and ancestor worship festival in folk customs, and Yulan basin festival in Buddhism. Festival customs mainly include offering sacrifices to ancestors, releasing river lanterns, offering sacrifices to the dead, burning paper ingots, offering sacrifices to land, etc. Its birth can be traced back to the ancestor worship and related time sacrifice in ancient times. July is the month of auspiciousness and filial piety. July and a half is a folk festival to celebrate the harvest and reward the earth in the early autumn. There are a number of mature crops. As a rule, people should worship their ancestors and offer sacrifices such as new rice to report the autumn harvest to their ancestors. This festival is a traditional cultural festival for remembering our ancestors, and its cultural core is respecting our ancestors and filial piety.
In the book of changes, "seven" is a changing number and the number of rebirth. "The book of changes": "repeated its way, seven days to reply, heaven also." Seven is the number of Yang and the number of days. After the Yang Qi between heaven and earth is extinguished, it can be reborn in seven days. This is the way of heaven and earth operation and the principle of the cycle of the growth and decline of yin and Yang. The folk choice to worship their ancestors on July 14 (February 7) is related to the number of rebirth of "seven". The Zhongyuan festival of Taoism and the Yulan basin festival of Buddhism are set on July 15.
"July and a half" was originally a folk ancestor worship festival in ancient times, but it was called "Zhongyuan Festival", which originated from Taoism after the Eastern Han Dynasty. Buddhism calls July and a half "Yulan basin Festival". In a certain sense, the July half ancestor worship Festival belongs to the folk customs, the Zhongyuan Festival belongs to Taoism, and the Yulan basin Festival belongs to Buddhism.
July 14 / 15 ancestor worship is a traditional cultural festival popular in all countries in the Chinese character culture circle and overseas Chinese areas. It is a traditional ancestor worship festival of the Chinese nation together with new year's Eve, Qingming Festival and Double Ninth Festival. In May 2010, the Ministry of culture selected the "Zhongyuan Festival (Chaoren Yulan victory meeting)" declared by the Hong Kong SAR and included it in the national intangible cultural heritage list.
Zhongyuan Festival Wiki:
|Chinese name||Zhong Yuan Jie|
|alias||July and a half, auspicious month, Yulan basin Festival, shigu, zhaigu, etc|
|Holiday time||July 15 in the north and July 14 in South China|
|Festival type||traditional festival|
|Epidemic area||China and other countries in the Chinese character cultural circle|
|Festival origin||Ancestor belief, autumn taste and ancestor worship|
|Holiday significance||Respect for ancestors and filial piety|
|Festival Customs||Worship ancestors, release river lanterns, worship the dead, burn paper ingots, etc|
In the book of changes, "seven" is a changing number and the number of rebirth. "The book of changes": "repeated its way, seven days to reply, heaven also." The seventh is the number of Yang and the number of days. After the Yang Qi between heaven and earth disappears, it can be reborn after seven days. This is the way of heaven and earth and the principle of the cycle of yin and Yang. "Seven" also has a mysterious color, such as "seven stars" (seven stars shining high), human feelings have "seven emotions", colors have "seven colors", music has "seven tones", poetry has "Seven Laws", human body has "seven orifices", and so on. "Seven" is also the life cycle of people. They begin to receive education at the age of seven, enter puberty at the age of 14, and fully mature at the age of 21. In the folk, the number of seven is phased in time. When calculating the time, it often takes "seven and seven" as the final and rebirth. "July is an auspicious month and a filial month, while the 14th (February 7th) is the cycle number of" seven ". The ancients chose to worship their ancestors on July 14 (July and a half), which is related to the number of rebirth of "seven".
This festival originated from the early "July and a half" agricultural harvest autumn taste and ancestor worship. The birth of "July and a half" can be traced back to ancestor worship and agricultural harvest sacrifice in ancient times. In ancient times, people often placed their harvest on the protection of gods. Worshipping ancestors can be found in spring, summer, autumn and winter, but the "autumn taste" in early autumn is very important. Autumn is the harvest season. People hold a ceremony of sacrificing the souls of their ancestors. They first offer the best seasonal products to God, then taste the fruits of these labor, and pray for a good harvest in the coming year.
"July and a half" was originally a folk ancestor worship festival in ancient times, but it was called "Zhongyuan Festival", which originated from Taoism after the Eastern Han Dynasty. Taoism has the "three element theory", "Heaven officials bless the upper yuan, earth officials forgive sins, and water officials solve misfortunes." the name of "middle yuan" comes from this. Buddhism calls July and a half "Yulan basin Festival". In the Tang Dynasty, when the rulers respected Taoism, the Taoist Zhongyuan festival began to flourish, and gradually fixed the "Zhongyuan" as the name of the festival. The festival period was set on July 15 and has continued so far.
The custom of offering sacrifices to ancestors in July and a half has existed since ancient times. It was originally a folk festival of offering sacrifices to ancestors rather than a "Ghost Festival". The core of the culture of July and a half is to respect ancestors and show filial piety. Generally, the festival of offering sacrifices to ancestors will not be called "Ghost Festival" (Ghost Festival is a later saying, which is expected to evolve from the thought of Pudu opening ghost gate in the Yuan Dynasty of Taoism). The festival of offering sacrifices to ancestors in July is called "Zhongyuan Festival", which originated from Taoism after the Eastern Han Dynasty (about the Northern Wei Dynasty). Among the Taoist gods, there are heaven officials, earth officials and water officials, collectively known as the "three officials and the great emperor". They are the representatives of the heaven emperor stationed in the world. On the "three yuan day", they respectively check the merits and sins of the earth for the heaven emperor to determine rewards and punishments: "Heaven officials bless the upper yuan on the fifteenth day of the first month, earth officials forgive sins on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, and water officials relieve misfortunes on the fifteenth day of the tenth month." Local officials are in charge of the underground government, and the focus of inspection is naturally the ghosts of all roads. The middle yuan, the upper yuan and the lower yuan are collectively referred to as "three yuan". It is said that on the day of the middle Yuan Dynasty, the underground palace opens the door of hell, which is also the day when hell opens. All ghosts have to leave the underworld and accept the examination. The ghosts with the LORD go home, and those without the Lord wander around the world, wandering around looking for food. Therefore, it is also called ghost festival. It is generally used to offer sacrifices to ghosts and light lanterns to illuminate the way home for the dead. The Taoist temple held a grand Dharma meeting to pray for auspiciousness and auspiciousness. The Taoist priest built a Jiao and prayed for the soul of the dead.
In the seventh month of the lunar calendar, there are Zen seven, net seven, and even the meaning of infinity with the forty-nine of seven - "seven" is a number with endless changes and implications. According to Buddhism, the 15th day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar is the day when monks and disciples complete their merits and virtues. On that day, Buddhist disciples hold a "Yulan basin Dharma meeting". According to the Tibetan Sutra, the Yulan basin is Sanskrit, "Yulan" means "hanging upside down"; "Basin" means "rescuer". "Yulan basin" means an object used to save the hanging pain. Its derived meaning is to fill the basin with Baiwei and five fruits to support the Buddha and monks, so as to save the suffering beings in hell. This ritual first became popular from the Dharma meeting of Mulian to save his mother. The Taoist Zhongyuan festival originated from the great offering Sutra, and the Buddhist Yulan basin Association originated from the Buddhist Yulan basin Sutra. Monks in the Tang Dynasty once revealed that Taoist Liu Wudai imitated the Buddhist Yulan basin society and forged the Da Xian Jing. Modern scholars generally agree with this statement.
The ancients have attached great importance to sacrifice since ancient times. This festival originates from folk secular, Taoist and Buddhist cultures. Its sacrifice culture has been spread for a long time and has a wide range of influence. "Seven" is an odd number in China: Qiqiao, seven stars, seven colors and seven laws; "The book of changes": "repeated its way, seven days to reply, heaven also." The seventh is the number of Yang and the number of days. After the Yang Qi between heaven and earth disappears, it can be reborn after seven days. This is the way of heaven and earth and the principle of the cycle of yin and Yang. However, for a long time, some places in China believe that July is a ghost month, which is an unlucky month. It is expected to evolve from the thought of Pudu in Taoism. Because of false rumors, some places regard July as an "inappropriate" month, such as no going out, no cutting, no getting married, no buying a house, no moving, etc. In fact, July is an auspicious month.
"The book of changes": "repeated its way, seven days to reply, heaven also." In the book of changes, "seven" is a changing number and the number of rebirth. The seventh is the number of Yang and the number of days. After the Yang Qi between heaven and earth disappears, it can be reborn after seven days. This is the way of heaven and earth and the principle of the cycle of yin and Yang. The folk choice of offering sacrifices to ancestors on July 14 is related to the number of rebirth in "seven". The Zhongyuan festival of Taoism and the Yulan basin festival of Buddhism are scheduled for July 15. In a certain sense, the July and a half ancestor worship Festival belongs to the folk customs, the Zhongyuan Festival belongs to Taoism, and the Yulan basin Festival belongs to Buddhism. In the folk and secular world, "July and a half" is a traditional cultural festival to remember our ancestors. Its cultural core is to respect our ancestors and filial piety without forgetting the root. In Buddhism, July is also known as "happy month", "Buddha happy day", "auspicious month" and "month of gratitude". Buddhism and Taoism have different interpretations of the meaning of this festival. Taoism emphasizes filial piety; Buddhism focuses on "Purgatory" for those orphans who are released from the underworld. The custom of "July and a half" in the later period can be said to be the integration of secular, Taoism and Buddhism.
It is generally believed that the Zhongyuan Festival is also known as the "Yulan basin Festival"; In fact, there are great misunderstandings in this understanding. Correctly speaking, July 14 ancestor worship Festival, Zhongyuan Festival and Yulan basin Festival belong to folk beliefs, Taoism and Buddhism. The three are juxtaposed, rather than three different names of a festival. Since the rise of Taoism, the word "Zhongyuan" in the "three yuan theory" was officially fixed as the festival name in the middle and late Tang Dynasty, and the festival was set on July 15. This festival is a festival of the integration of three customs. The Taoist Ramadan was first created under the influence of the Buddhist Ramadan. In China, the 15th day of the month is not an important day except the Lantern Festival, which was founded in the Western Han Dynasty. The 15th day of every month is important. It is a phenomenon only after Buddhism was introduced into China.
Before the formation of the "Zhongyuan Festival", the 15th day of July had long been expropriated by Buddhism. In Buddhism, July was originally a happy month of Buddha, not "Ghost Festival". But why did the Yulan pot festival in July become a "Ghost Festival"? Yulan basin, a transliteration of Sanskrit ulambana, originally means "rescue upside down", that is, to rescue ghosts suffering in hell. The Buddhist Sutra "Yulan basin Sutra" was translated and introduced into China during the Western Jin Dynasty. There was a story of "Mulian saving his mother", which coincided with the concept of filial piety still existing at that time. Later, it was advocated by Xiao Yan, Emperor Liang Wu of the Southern Dynasty, who respected the "theory of homology of three religions", and it was designated as a folk festival. At that time, its main function was to worship the Buddha. It was only in the Song Dynasty that it changed and developed into a ghost. I don't know whether it's a coincidence or the Yulan basin festival of Taoism affiliated Buddhism. Both the Zhongyuan Festival and the Yulan basin Festival are set on July 15. So that later generations think that these two are the two names of a festival. At the same time, because its meaning and customs have long been difficult to distinguish, the customs of the two festivals began to be mixed. From the two aspects of ceremony and date, we can find that the Taoist Zhongyuan Festival does imitate the Buddhist Yulan basin society on the one hand, and has something to do with the belief or religious system of Taoism itself on the other hand. Taoist Zhongyuan Festival is actually a religious festival created by combining the factors of Buddhism and Taoism. It is a typical example of the integration of Buddhism and Taoism in medieval times. The grand offering ceremony of xuandu on the Zhongyuan festival of Taoism is the eighth kind of merit listed in volume 7 "merit and virtue products" of the cause Sutra of Xuanlingbao karma in Taishang Cave - offering ceremony. Based on the practice and concept that the Buddhist Yulan basin Sutra provides for monks to survive their death, the great offering Sutra adapts the Buddhist Yulan basin offering ceremony into the great offering of the mysterious capital of Taoism.
The literary works "Yan Family Instructions" in the Northern Qi Dynasty, the "Jingchu Suishi Ji" in the Southern Dynasty, the "Tokyo Menghua Lu" and "Mengliang Lu" in the Song Dynasty, and the "Jisheng" in the imperial capital Suishi in the Qing Dynasty all mentioned the Zhongyuan festival or Yulan basin Festival. According to the book of practice: "on the first day of the middle of July, local officials came down to determine the good and evil of the world. The Taoist chanted scriptures at night, and the prisoners of hungry festival were freed."
According to historical documents, the activities of offering sacrifices to ancestors in autumn have existed in the pre-Qin period. The custom of offering sacrifices to ancestors in July and a half is the product of local culture. The inclusive festival customs are more complex. It is not only a folk autumn taste festival for offering sacrifices to ancestors, but also a Taoist Zhongyuan Festival and a Buddhist Yulan basin Festival. The three streams of common Taoist monks are one. In the seventh month of the lunar month, the crops are ripe. Some parts of China have had the tradition of holding ancestor worship ceremonies at this time since ancient times. The ancients offered sacrifices to their ancestors at four seasons in spring, summer, autumn and winter. In July, they offered newly harvested melons, fruits, vegetables, millet and other cereals, which is called "autumn taste", also known as "recommending new" and "tasting new", that is, the meaning of letting ancestors taste new in autumn. According to the records of Puning County by Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty, "it is said that the ancestors return home after examination. They have salty divine clothes and wine dishes to recommend them. Although they are poor, they dare not lack them." Among the sacrifices, Chu clothes are indispensable. Because of the summer heat in July, you must change clothes to prevent cold, and "fire in July, clothes in September" with the world. In the old days, the Zhongyuan festival was not only of great significance in the dimension of faith, but also a festival with high mass participation and distinctive entertainment function at the secular level.
In the 1920s-1940s, July and a half was a grand and lively Festival. During the period of the Republic of China, the primary custom of offering sacrifices to ancestors in the countryside was still the custom of offering sacrifices to ancestors in July. After the victory of the war of resistance against Japan, the temples also prayed for Buddha to ferry the heroes of the "war dead".
In the 1950s, ancestor worship was still lively in July and a half. However, it was later regarded as advocating feudal superstition and gradually marginalized. Traditionally, the worship of ancestors in July and a half was aided by business officials, but by the end of the 1950s, most businesses had been transformed, unable to undertake and without official assistance, and naturally disappeared.
In the mid-1960s, Beihai Park held the last ancestor worship in July and a half. Qionghai was full of river lanterns made of eggplant, which was very spectacular. During the "Cultural Revolution", all traditional festivals were banned except Qingming Festival, and the ancestor worship festival in July was not spared. With the pace of reform and opening up, traditional festivals have gradually returned, but the ancestor worship festival in July and a half has been ignored.
In the contemporary era, although the revival of traditional culture is mentioned again, the cultural meaning of "July and a half" ancestor worship and pursuit is largely shared with the Qingming Festival. In addition, the "Zhongyuan Festival", which evolved from the later stage, is closely related to the "superstition" of ghosts, so it has not been prominent in the existing festival system. Today, the original connotation of "July and a half" sacrificial activities are mostly held spontaneously and sporadically in the family, which is no longer public in the traditional sense.
On May 18, 2010, the Ministry of culture of the people's Republic of China announced the list of recommended projects (newly selected projects) in the third batch of national intangible cultural heritage list. The "Zhongyuan Festival (Yulan victory of Chaoren)" declared by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region was selected as an intangible cultural heritage listed in the category of folk customs projects.
Hebei: Botou City and Nanpi County carry fruits, preserved meat, wine and Chu money to the ancestral cemetery on July 15. And hold the hemp Valley to the field stem, known as "recommending the new". Guangping County worships its ancestors with fresh food on the Zhongyuan Festival, and prepares fruits and vegetables and steamed sheep for its grandson, which is called "sending sheep". Qinghe County went to the grave on July 15 to sweep and presented her daughter with steamed sheep.
Shanxi: scholars in Yonghe County sacrificed Kuixing on this day. The shepherd's family in Zhangzi County slaughters sheep and competes with God on the Zhongyuan Festival. It is said that this can increase the production of sheep. They also gave meat to relatives. Those who were poor and had no sheep would make steamed noodles in the form of sheep instead. Farmers in Yangcheng County make wheat scraps into the shape of cats, tigers and grains and offer sacrifices in the field, which is called "walking field". People in Mayi county take wheat flour as the shape of children on the Zhongyuan Festival, which is called "dough man", and give each other children from relatives. Farmers in Xin County hang colored paper on the stems of their fields on the Zhongyuan Festival.
Henan: when worshiping local officials in Zhongyuan, Shangqiu County, paper flags were hung at the door. It is said that they can prevent insects. Flying kites on the Zhongyuan festival in Mengjin County. On July 15, Yixian County drew an ash circle in front of the door and burned paper in the circle to worship its ancestors.
Shandong: Long Island fishermen make boats with wood and sorghum, with a note "for ×× "Use", or a memorial tablet for Drowners, and then install food, clothes, shoes and socks, and then light candles, and the married man will put the boat into the sea. Each family in Zhanhua County collects hemp and fresh grass leaves to build a shed, which is called "hemp house". Please place the ancestor card in it for sacrifice. Duling County calls the Zhongyuan Festival pinch mouth Festival, and every family eats plain food.
Shaanxi: Lintong County burned paper to sacrifice Magu on July 15. Chenggu County Zhongyuan Festival peasant drinking, known as "hanging hoe". To postpone farming, go to the field in the morning of the Chinese New Year's day, select the highest and most dense rice ears, and hang a five color paper flag, called "field flag".
The "Ghost Festival" in Yanhua County, Jiangsu Province is known as the "Ghost Festival". A kind of paper ghost is still popular all over Yizheng county. It contains bowl lamps, including gamblers, drunkards, senior officials and so on. There are four boats in the zhongyuanjie river of Yixing County, one for fireworks, one for Buddha chanting, one for burning tin foil paper ingots and one for river lanterns. Dongxian villagers eat flat food on this day, which is a dustpan shaped food made of flour and sugar. When the river lights are put in Shanghai, red and green paper lights are dotted at the stern of the ship, which is called "Du Gu".
Sichuan: in Sichuan Province, it is common to burn paper to worship ancestors in the middle Yuan Dynasty. That is, the paper money is stacked and sealed into small envelopes, on which is written the address and name of the recipient, the number of envelopes received, and the name and time of the person who turns silk. It is said that the ghost gate is closed on July 15, and all families should "send orphans and children". People around Chengdu tie a "flower tray" with paper, put paper money and fruit offerings on it, hold it in their hands, and read while walking in the house: "close relatives and friends, neighbors, former residents, dead souls who are reluctant to go back, all lonely souls and wild ghosts, please put the flower tray and send you back!" Then he went outside to incinerate.
Zhejiang: Jiashan County takes the rain on the Zhongyuan festival as a sign of a bumper rice harvest. People in Tonglu County use gongs to spread rice in the wild on the night of the Zhongyuan Festival, which is called "almsgiving". At the Yulan basin meeting in eastern Zhejiang, 24 old ladies were invited to "walk the eight knots" while chanting scriptures. Tiantai eats "dumpling cakes" on the Zhongyuan Festival, which is similar to spring rolls. There is also the custom of setting off street lamps, with six strong men as a group: one strikes the Gong, one hits the bang, one carries the lantern, one sprinkles salt rice along the way, one arranges incense candles along the way (inserted on a piece of sweet potato or taro), one arranges a piece of tofu and a rice ball along the way (placed on a big tree), and sets up a sacrifice every hundred steps.
Jiangxi: Ji'an people burn paper ingots on the Zhongyuan Festival, but pregnant women are prohibited from folding paper ingots. It is said that the paper ingots folded by pregnant women can't be carried by ghosts after incineration, and it's no good to send them to hell. During the fireworks, the mage threw steamed stuffed buns and fruit under the stage. It is said that a woman grabs a steamed stuffed bun and can have it the next year. If a child grabs a steamed stuffed bun, he will not be frightened all his life. Anyuan County worships its ancestors. It will burn incense to make tea on July 12 and offer sacrifices in the morning and evening. On the 15th night, burn the clothes and clothes of Chu and give them paper money.
Fujian: when people in Southern Fujian worship in July and a half, they will first set off lights in various waters to welcome the coming dead, help the dead light the way, and invite them to share incense, known as the "water lamp". Most of them are in the shape of a palace with wax oil for ignition. There is a colored triangular paper flag inside, which is known as the "Pudu flag". The flag is written with a brush with the words "Zhongyuan honorifics" such as "qingzan Zhongyuan", "Guangshi Yulan", "worship Yin Guang", "Ming Hui Puzhao" and his own name, so that a good brother (the honorific name of the dead in Minnan) can know which donor offered it, There are also those who write directly on the lamp without a flag. It is said that the farther the water lamp floats, the more blessed the benefactor will be.
Guangdong: in South China, there is a tradition of sacrifice on July 14. On this day, both rich and poor should prepare wine and vegetables, incense candles and paper money to pay tribute to their ancestors to show their memory. Guangdong is known as "July 14". In the old days, residents went to the ghost shop to buy gold and silver paper clothes (i.e. various colored papers, which are commonly thought to be used to make the ghost clothes), Xi silver (ghost coins), Yuan Bao and other ghost utensils before the festival. They put them in paper bags and sealed them, commonly known as "baggage". They would choose a day in the afternoon to match them with lilies and fruits to worship their ancestors and burn the ghost utensils (baggage), commonly known as "burning clothes". After nightfall, all kinds of dark utensils, rice, wine, vegetables and incense paper were sacrificed in front of the door to impose the ghost of ownerless. After the sacrifice, burn the dark utensils and leave the sacrifice (wine and rice) outside the door without taking it back. It is commonly known as "burning you". The Chinese yuan customs in Hong Kong and Macao are consistent with those in Guangdong.
Guangxi: people in Guilin mostly take the 14th of the month as the festival of ancestor worship. The whole festival should start from July 7 to the evening of July 14. The process is to greet, send and chase ancestors; Some places greet their ancestors from July 7, and some greet their ancestors on July 13, but on July 7, they also need "respectful rice" (that is, sacrifice); Send off the ancestors on the evening of July 14. The ceremony of sending off the ancestors will be held from the sacrifice before dinner to about 10 p.m. at the same time, the "wallet" with the taboo of the ancestors (about how many generations of ancestors are written in different families) and the "wallet" paper money of the bearer and the guide king will be burned at the intersection to sprinkle rice and rice; The process is complicated and serious. It is the most complex festival of local rituals and a festival that local people attach great importance to. In Guangxi, July 14 is also known as the "duck Festival". People believe that the dead can stand on ducks and shuttle freely between the sun and the underworld through the carriage of ducks. In addition, there is also the custom of "burning bags". Generally, it is to worship ancestors first, and then burn clothes for lonely souls and wild ghosts. The wine and vegetables for ancestor worship must be placed in the flat dustpan, which means that wild ghosts cannot rob.
Shanghai: Qibao ancient town holds the "orchid basin event" of the Chinese Yuan Festival. Fujian and Taiwan place tables to worship Pudu, which is divided into "public general" (also known as "Lianpu", jointly held by all settlements, groups or temple residents) and "private general" (held by individuals, single families and institutions). When holding the event, a "Pudu flag" with "Zhongyuan honorific words and donor name" will also be erected on the offering table, and a incense stick will be inserted into each offering, Soap, towels and a basin full of water will also be placed under the supply table for "good brothers" to wash. Many smokers will also light cigarettes, insert them into incense feet, push themselves and "soul" for "good brothers" to swallow clouds and smoke. It has a different human touch. During the Ming and Qing Dynasties, old Shanghai held altar meetings every year on Qingming Day, July and a half and the October Dynasty (the first day of October). There were powerful city gods on patrol. Old Shanghai is commonly known as the "three tours".
Yunnan: after offering sacrifices to their ancestors, the people of Tengyue burned the bag. They carved a cucumber into a boat shape, called "cucumber boat", and burned it together with the bag. According to folk legend, July 14 / 15 of each year is the day when the gate of hell opens. The king of hell will let those evil spirits who have suffered and been imprisoned in hell all year out of hell, get short-term wandering and enjoy smoking and food on earth. Therefore, July is also known as ghost month. This month is considered to be an unlucky month, neither marrying nor moving.
Hunan: Shaoyang people "pick up old customers" around July 12 of the lunar calendar and burn paper bags, burn incense and worship their ancestors on the evening of July 15 of the lunar calendar, which is called "sending old customers". The paper bag is wrapped with inch thick paper money. On the front of the paper bag, the name of the ancestors is taboo. After wrapping, the word "seal" must be written on the back. On the evening of the 15th, the more packets burned, the greater the fire, indicating that the family was more and more prosperous.
Hubei: Macheng people will slaughter livestock around the 15th day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar. They will be reunited with their aunt and burn paper money to worship their deceased ancestors. Steamed buns and Baijiu are served on the day of sacrifice. Bamboo chopsticks are spread evenly between meals. Men from all families print and make paper money on paper money. After burning paper, they kneel down and worship their ancestors. Then the family had a feast. The festival can be held on any day from July 13 to 16.
Thailand: the Water Lantern Festival will be held on July 15 of the lunar calendar. People put sky lanterns to pray for the dead.
Japan: the Yulan basin festival was introduced into Japan from China in the Sui and Tang Dynasties in the era of birds, commonly known as "Yulan basin" (pronunciation: O-bon, short for Yulan basin Association). From July 13 to 16 in urban areas and from August 13 to 16 in rural areas. Sweep the tomb before the 13th, pick up the ghost of our ancestors on the 13th, and send it off on the 16th. There is also the habit of giving Zhongyuan gifts. In folk customs, people will gather and dance a dance called "penyong", focusing on hand movements, similar to today's Para Para. The Japanese attach great importance to the Yulan basin Festival, which has become an important festival second only to new year's day. Enterprises and companies generally have a holiday for about a week, which is called "basin rest". Many Japanese who go out to work are choosing to use this holiday to return home to reunite and worship their ancestors. At this time, the streets of metropolises (such as Tokyo, Osaka, etc.) are more deserted, which is a bit similar to China's Qingming Festival.
Korea: the Zhongyuan Festival on the Korean Peninsula, also known as "Baizhong Festival", "Baizhong Festival" and "Ghost Festival", is a traditional festival in Korea. It comes from the Zhongyuan festival of Chinese Taoism and the Yulan basin festival of Buddhism, and then develops Korean characteristics. Compared with the Zhongyuan festival in China and Japan, it pays more attention to ancestor worship and Purdue, while the Zhongyuan festival in North Korea retains the original intention of farmers celebrating the harvest in autumn, followed by ancestor worship, sacrifice of the dead and other ceremonies.
Singapore: in the Chinese areas of Singapore, in addition to the above-mentioned traditional customs such as ancestor worship and Purdue, there is also a special performance activity to entertain ghosts. The local Fujian people call it "July song platform" or "Song platform" for short. Generally, these song stages are built on the open space, decorated with sound equipment and lights, and rows of chairs are placed in the audience under the stage, while the chairs in the first row are usually vacant and reserved for "good brothers" (ghosts). The stage performance is usually arranged at night. The stage performance includes humorous short plays, magic, strong songs and hot dances, and there are performances throughout the July of the lunar calendar.
Malaysia: in the Chinese areas of Malaysia, the Zhongyuan Festival is also called Yulan victory meeting or celebrating Zhongyuan. In addition to offering sacrifices to ancestors and performing traditional customs and dramas of various native places, there is also a special performance activity to entertain ghosts. Locals have established a similar platform culture of Singaporean Chinese, which is generally similar to Singapore.
On the Chinese New Year's day, many people will choose a day between the first day of July and the 30th day of July in the old calendar to hold sacrificial activities with offerings such as wine, meat, sugar cakes and fruits, so as to comfort the ghosts of all families playing in the world and pray for their peace and smooth throughout the year. Those who are more important even invite monks and Taoists to chant scriptures to surpass the dead. During this period, some people will invite the Buddha statues such as the Bodhisattva of Tibet and the Mulian venerable to place on a high platform, or ask the artist to play the Exorcist God Zhong Kui (some ask the artist to control the puppet of Zhong Kui), so as to eliminate the hostility of the dead soul.
It is said that half of July coincides with the alternation of summer and autumn. At this time, it is precisely the node of the alternation of yin and Yang in heaven and earth. Yang Qi rises and falls, and Yin Qi appears. On this day, the underground palace opens the door of hell and releases ghosts, so ghost worship activities are widely carried out. Later generations have also said that the whole July of the lunar calendar should be "Ghost Festival". On the first day of July of the lunar calendar, the king of hell opens the ghost door, releases the ghost to the sun for food and enjoys people's sacrifice. On the last day of July, the ghost door is closed again, and the ghosts have to return to the underworld.
People believe that ancestors will return home in July to visit their descendants, so they need to sacrifice their ancestors. This ancestor worship behavior is an embodiment of the traditional ethics of being cautious in the end and pursuing the far end, consolidating the foundation and thinking about the source, and it is a cultural tradition of feeling morality and ancestors. The harvest of crops in the small autumn also happens to share the joy of harvest with our ancestors. The worship ceremony is generally held in the evening in mid July. In ordinary days, we should worship our ancestors and generally do not move their memorial tablets. When offering sacrifices to ancestors in "July and a half", we should invite the memorial tablets of our ancestors one by one, respectfully put them on the dedicated sacrificial table, and then insert incense in front of each ancestor's memorial tablet to provide tea and meals three times a day in the morning, afternoon and dusk. Due to the slight differences in local customs, the way of celebrating the festival is also different, and there will be differences in the time of celebrating the festival.
In the mid Yuan Festival, the most prominent folk belief behavior is burning paper. According to legend, paper in the sun is money in the underworld, and people burn paper to send money to their deceased ancestors. Usually, a few pieces of paper are left for burning at the grave and burned at the intersection. The purpose is to give some alms to homeless wild ghosts, so that they will no longer rob the money given to their ancestors.
Every night on the 14th or 15th of July, burn incense and guns outside the door and "burn bags" (also known as "recommended bags").
In July and a half, people still worship land and crops. Sprinkle offerings into the fields. After burning the paper, use the five color paper cut into pieces to wrap it around the ears of crops. It is said that it can avoid hail attack and obtain a bumper harvest in autumn. At the same time, we have to go to some places for sacrifice. The folk custom of Dingxiang County hangs Ma and Gu at the head of the door.
Offering sacrifices in July and half is often associated with praying for a bumper harvest. On the night of Shi Gu, every family should burn incense at the door of their house to pray for a good harvest of rice, and plant incense sticks on the ground. This is called "cloth field" (transplanting rice seedlings). The more you plant, the better, which symbolizes the harvest of rice in autumn.
Many parts of the country will choose to eat ducks in July. Because ducks swim in the water, they take the meaning of river lantern Pudu prayer. There is also a saying that "duck" is "pressure", which is a homonym. Eating duck is to suppress the "soul". This statement is a little far fetched, because in many places, "duck" and "pressure" have different sounds. Dongguan people usually eat boiled duck with lotus roots.
There is a custom of jumping sky lanterns in Tiandeng area of Guangxi in July. In the old days, sky lantern jumping activities were mostly superstitious activities such as meeting the gods and expelling epidemic ghosts. Now it has gradually developed into a folk sports activity. The sky lantern jumping is generally carried out on a relatively flat field at the head of the village. 72 small bowls are loaded with soybean oil and arranged in 9 rows respectively. The lamps are placed and lit at a distance of 0.8-1 meter from the front, back, left and right. The people who jump the lamps wear masks and hold musical instruments such as wooden fish, small drums, gongs and cymbals, as well as wooden sticks with paper flowers. At the beginning, one person takes the lead to beat the wooden fish, and regularly dances around each row of lights according to the rhythm. At the corner of the row, everyone should do some step jumping and turning movements, and blow the musical instruments and props in their hands. Watching the sky lanterns at night is like a long dragon dancing in the starlight.
In the Yulan basin meeting, there is an important activity called "fireworks opening". "Yankou" is the so-called hungry ghost in hell in Buddhism. The purpose of this activity is to surpass the dead and feed the lonely ghosts. "Fireworks outlet" is carried out in the evening or evening, and the activity lasts a long time, even up to the early morning of the next day. First, the monks chant and practice, and finally the host sprinkles rice grain and clean water around to feed the ghosts.
River lanterns are also called "Lotus lanterns". They are usually placed on the base with lamps or candles. They are placed in rivers, lakes and seas on Zhongyuan night. It is said that the Lantern Festival is evolved from the lantern custom of Shangyuan Festival (Lantern Festival). People believe that Shangyuan is a people's day, Zhongyuan is a ghost day, man-made Yang, ghosts are Yin, land is Yang and water is Yin. Therefore, Shangyuan lights on land and Zhongyuan is in water. The mysterious darkness under the water reminds people of the legendary ghost hell, where ghosts sink. So the Shangyuan lantern is on land and the Zhongyuan lantern is in water. Today's lanterns have become a happy activity. According to the Buddhist ritual of Yulan basin meeting, putting on the river lantern is only one of the small programs, which doesn't seem to matter much. In the folk activities of Zhongyuan Festival, lighting is more important.
The purpose of putting river lanterns is to ferry and pray. A passage in the biography of Hulan River by Xiao Hong, a modern female writer, is the best footnote to this custom: "the 15th day of July is a ghost festival; the dead ghosts and ghosts can't support life. They linger in hell and are very bitter. If they want to support life, they can't find a way. If a dead ghost holds a river lamp on this day, they have to support life". The road from the underworld to the sun is very dark. You can't see the road without lights. So it's a good thing to put the lights on. It can be seen that the living upright men have not forgotten the dead ghost.
Taboos on the Zhongyuan Festival:
1. Wind chimes are hung at the head of the bed, which are easy to attract ghosts, and sleeping is the most vulnerable time to be invaded by the enemy.
2. Night tour, people with light eight characters should try not to travel at night.
3. Burn black paper for non-specific occasions.
4. Avoid eating sacrifices secretly. These are the food belonging to ghosts.
5. Avoid trampling on ghost paper. Ghost paper is a sacrifice for ghosts. Avoid trampling on it. In ancient times, July and a half was a folk ancestor worship Festival and a festival to remember our ancestors. There were no many taboos. These so-called taboos were attached to later generations in the development and evolution of the festival.
From the legend of July and a half, we can deeply realize that the sacrifice of July and a half has dual significance. One is to expound the filial piety of remembering our ancestors, and the other is to carry forward the righteous act of pushing ourselves to others and being charitable. This is all from the perspective of compassion, very human. Therefore, while celebrating Zhongyuan, we should jump from the perspective of ghosts and encourage mutual love.
In terms of its cultural connotation, July and a half is also one of the Chinese traditional ancestor worship festivals. Behind its culture is a kind of faith. July and a half is an intangible cultural heritage. It is a kind of culture. It is an ancient and modern tradition of remembering our ancestors. This tradition reflects the ancient thought of "cautious in the end and far behind", and its cultural core is respecting our ancestors and filial piety.
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