Chinese Prayers; Customs, Traditions, and Religion
When it comes to tradition and religion in china, many people believe that most Chinese people are either Buddhist or don’t have a religion at all. But that’s not it.
In the guide below, you’ll learn about religious diversity in China, their prayers 拜神香, and also about the etiquettes followed in China while praying.
How diversified is China when it comes to religion?
Chinese people are quite diversified when it comes to religion, from Confucianism, Taoism to Buddhism. This diversity came because many people in China used to worship many deities in earlier times, and not just that, they worshipped many natural forces and occurrences as well.
But the main division goes into three broad categories;
In this form, worshipping ancestors is an extremely important part and that too in precise ways and manners. Confucianism has the basic aim of living in harmony, helping others, and fulfilling their duties according to their position in society. It is often believed that if rituals are not followed well, it could lead to misfortune for the individual or family and is considered a sign of displeasure given by the deceased ancestors.
Buddhism believes in the concept of nirvana, a complete ending of the life cycle, but to achieve nirvana, it believes that one had to be reborn multiple times till they reach the state of complete purity. It mentions that the rebirth and decision of what and how the person will be are dependent upon the deeds or the “karma” of the individual.
It focuses and mentions how all the early pleasures are the major reason for a human’s sufferings. Therefore, only if these earthly pleasures and desires are eliminated will a person finally be happy.
This is somewhere similar to Confucianism. It also believes that one can find the way to heaven by living in peace and harmony. In Taoism, deities include immortal humans who became so after Taoism practices, natural powers, planets, stars, etc.
The similarity between Taoism and Confucianism is that both focus on living in harmony and paying respect to the elders.
What are some common etiquettes people in China should follow?
When considering religiously, there are a few etiquettes the people in China have to follow.
- Never take pictures inside the temple. It is considered as a disrespect to god and the Chinese culture as well.
- Take offerings while you enter the temple to pray. Offerings may include fruits, rice, cooked chicken, etc. And one should have pure intentions when they enter the temple.
- Hold the incense sticks with your left hand while lighting it up and praying. It’s considered to be more clean and pure.
- Once the people have paid respect to god, every time you must respect the deceased elders or ancestors sincerely, you pray to them for health, wealth, and protection. It is considered as a small gathering, and people later consume the food that was presented as an offering as it is now considered to be blessed.
Chinese culture is vast and fascinating. When one starts looking into it, they’ll realize how much they can learn from things and help them because of a better person.