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Taoist Rites

Updated: 2014-12-01 14:08:10

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The rite of taking part in Taoism refers to a range of observances that the disciple who just takes part in Taoism must go through. The common rites of Taoism are as follows: if a disciple enters into Taoism from childhood, a boy is formally recruited when he is 7 years old, while a girl is formally recruited when she is 10 years old. After the recruitment, the boy is called asLushengdisciple, the girl is called asNanshengdisciple, and he/she begins to formally apprentice to a Taoist to learn Taoism. When the child gradually understands the basic dogmata and etiquettes as he/she grows up, a rite calledSanjie(three precepts) orWujie(five precepts) is held for him/her, symbolizing the disciple has formally become a Taoist. After that, he/she is forbidden to eat meat or fish and shall swear not to marry in the lifetime. As to those married, male disciples are called asQingzhendisciples, and the female disciples are called asQingxindisciples.

The rite of taking part in Taoism also influences the dresses and personal ornaments of disciples. The disciples who go through the precept acceptance rite can only wearEryiguanhat, and the clothing and shoes are of the most common style. After the disciple has finished studying a certain number of Taoist canons, the precept acceptance rite of higher level, called as theChuzhen 81 Preceptsrite, shall be held, and the disciple shall be called asTaishang Chuzhendisciple orBaijianTaoist. After the rite, the dresses and personal ornaments of these Taoists will also change accordingly; he/she shall wearQizhenguanhat, and the garments are better too. After a period of time, if the Taoist has the status ofZhengyilu, he can preside over some religious rites for other persons and take part in some religious or sacred activities held by the national government.

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