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An interesting blog on the various Taoist holidays and practices

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I found a mention of this reposted by Michael Saso. It is a blog post outlining the practices for this particular holiday, but also the changed and differing beliefs around it. Very interesting reading. For example:

Tian Kuang Day - Opening of Heavenly Gate 2013 (癸巳蛇年天貺日-天門開




I will quote part of it below



Tian Kuang Day - Opening of Heavenly Gate 2013 (癸巳蛇年天貺日-天門開)

In Taoist Culture, every year during the Lunar 6 Month, the Taoist or Chinese will celebrate this important Festival on the 6th Day of Lunar 6 Month (農曆六月初六日為天貺日﹐初七為天門開日).

For Year 2013, Tian Kuang Day falls on 13 July, a Saturday.

Tian Men Kai aka Opening of Heavenly Gate falls on 14 July, a Sunday.

Tian Kuang Ri (天貺日), in Taoism, known as the Day of Jade Emperor of Heaven distribution Blessing for ALL Beings & also, the 2nd Inspection Day for All High Authority Deities of the Three Realms (在道教文化中﹐天貺日被譽為玉皇赦罪大天尊﹐開赦天下之日﹐也是上天貺福民間之時。不但如此﹐也是三界高真第二次校考天下之朝

). In Chinese Culture, this Day is also known as Half Year Festival aka Ban Nian Jie (半年節).

Whereas, Tian Men Kai is the Day for the Deities to return back to the Celestial Palace for the Reporting & Submitting of the Inspection Result (而天門開日則是三界高真回返通明殿繳旨之日).

So how will the Taoists or Chinese Celebrates this Day?

For Taoists, we will visit Temples to pay Respect to Heaven & Jade Emperor of Heaven and then, do certain Chanting or Reciting of Scriptures or Incantations.

For Chinese, they will visit Temples to do requesting of Lucks and also, to do reprimanding of one self Debts, Sins and Evil-doing, once the Reprimanding is done, then they will do another round of Luck-requesting.

For those whose Requests being fulfilled within the 6 Months, they will need to return to the Temple to show their Gratitude to the Heaven or Deities before 25th Day of Lunar 12 Month.

For the Folks, on this Day, they will bring out their Clothing, Paintings, Books or some Valuable-stuffs to do Sun-bathing. Why they do so? Folks believed that by doing the Sun-bathing, the Objects will be blessed by Heaven and all these Objects will be able to last longer (天貺日也被稱為”晒經日”。這天﹐習道者會將經文﹐道袍﹐置于烈日下曝晒).

In the Early Days (in Singapore), Old people who had bought their Shou Yi (壽衣 the Apparel for their Funeral) to keep, on this Day, they would bring out one piece (out of the 7 Layers) to do Sun-bathing. Why they do so? The Old people believed that by doing so, their Age-span would be prolonged by 1-3 years. If they didn’t do that, meaning that on that year, it might be their Last Year staying in this Mortal Realm (民間則在這天﹐將老年者準備的壽衣﹐取一件出來曝晒).

Besides the Sun-bathing for the Items, Taoists will also do Copying of Taoist Scriptures (天貺日抄經也是必然的功課之一) at Home. This is the time that Taoists show their Respect & Gratitude to the Big Dao.

On this Day, Taoists & Chinese will use Glutinous Rice Powder (Red, White is Forbidden for this Day) to make Sweet Dumplings aka Tang Yuan (在天貺日所準備的湯圓不可有紅或白). Consuming of Tang Yuan on this Day is to request for Blessing on Reunion & also for Ushering in New Hopes for the Next 6 Months.

So how can one self Celebrates this Day in this Modern Society?

Its very simple, just get some simple Offerings (as followed) to any Temple. Sincerely pay your respect and I’m sure your Request will be heard by the Heaven.

Here the offerings go:

1) 1 set of 3 Long Incenses (長壽香一副)
2) 1 pair of Red Candles (紅燭一對)
3) 1 set of Fruits (5 Quantity 生果五顆)
4) 1 set of Loose Flowers (鮮花一盤)
5) 1 or 3 set(s) of Tian Gong Jin (Big Josspaper 天公/太極金三疊)
6) 1 or 3 set(s) of Shou Jin (Normal Josspaper 大壽/三寶金三疊)


Many other interesting articles in there as well.



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I did a search on there and found this



In Taoism, we do not have the Term Hungry Ghost Festival, cos in Taoism, we do not have such Practise as Salvaging the Narrow-neck & Bloated-stomach Spirits. This Term Hungry Ghost comes from Non-Taoist Religion and of cos, this is their Mistake of Introducing such a Wrong Idea of Hungry Ghost, but we must accept that, this is being annouced to the World due to their Compassionate for the Hungry Ghosts.

In Taoism, 7th Month Celebration is a Period where we Taoists & Chinese show our Gratitude to the Ancestors & also the Pass-on Credit Holders, such as Pioneers of the Country or Warriors who fight for us during Wars. This type of Gratitude Returning actually started since Zhou Dynasty (周朝), which is few thousand years ago from now. And in Taoism, we shall address this Period as Xiao Si Jie (孝思節) or Xiao Qin Jie (孝親節).


And concerning the 11th day of the 7th month (8th on the gregorian calendar) he says:



And maybe due to the Misunderstanding of the other Non-Taoist Faiths, telling People that 7th Month is a Month for the Releasing of Hungry Ghosts from the Hell to the Mortal Realm, many Folks had combined these 2 Events together to become the so-called “Hungry Ghost Festival (餓鬼節)”.


It seems sort of similar to me, ancestors and hungry ghosts. Not saying they are similar, just saying that the tradition of offerings and so forth seems similar from what he says.


Odd, and interesting. I personally know next to nothing about Taoism so far, just trying to learn as I can. I'm hoping someone who practices such things can answer though.


So far personally I'm just doing small meditations or saying hello on such days as I have not yet been trained in the formal rituals, altar work and so forth. (aka, noob! ;> )

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He has a blog?! :) I just see the awesome stuff he posts on facebook... I love how much material he shares, and I figure he knows enough and has done decent enough research to post decent links.

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