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Zhaijiao Keyi (I)

In China's Taoist temples, sometimes Taoists wear robes made of gold and silver threads, hold various magical instruments, sing ancient tunes, and dance in an interesting way in the sacrificial altar. This is the Zhajiao Keyi of Taoism, and it is also called as Taoist rites or religious ceremonies.

According to the explanation of Taoism, Zhai means fast and lustration, that is, a Taoist has to freshen up, and should not eat meat, drink wine or sleep with his wife before the sacrifice to show the stateliness and piety of the prayer. The original meaning of Jiao is sacrifice. Sacrifice was originally a kind of etiquette in ancient China, and it was later inherited and developed by Taoism. The way of Zhai and the way of Jiao were not the same originally, and they were mutually combined subsequently; they were collectively called as Zhaijiao in the 7th century. This name was handed down and became the pronoun of the rituals, classes, regulations and rules used to carry out sacrificial activities.

The term of Zhaijiao Keyi therefore refers to the regulations and rules used to carry out sacrificial activities. Ceremonies are held in Taoist temples on the 1st day and 15th day of a lunar month, on important religious festivals and the birthday of founders of Taoist sects. All these etiquettes belong to Zhaijiao Keyi.

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