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Celebrations of Buddhism, Daoism, Confucianism, Shinto, and
Transcript of Celebrations of Buddhism, Daoism, Confucianism, Shinto, and
The majority of Buddhist holidays are centered around the life events of Buddha, the wise teacher of the religion.
Daoists celebrate various deities almost every month. We will examine 5 of the larger celebrations.
Most Confucian holidays are taken from other religions. They celebrate the Chinese New Year and the Ghost Festival, among others. The two unique Confucian holidays are the Ching Ming Festival and Confucius's Birthday.
Brief Intro of all Religions
Buddhism, Daoism, Confucianism, and Shinto all originated in Asian countries. For this reason, many of these religions celebrate the same exact or similar holidays.
Zoroastrianism originated in ancient Iran, an area that when the religion came about, was already heavily influenced by the spread of the aforementioned Asian religions.
Celebrations of Buddhism, Daoism, Confucianism, Shinto, and Zoroastrianism
By Hannah Wismer
Worshipers in the Shinto religion do not celebrate specific holidays. However, they do have a variety of different festivals and life events that are major parts of the religion.
Celebration of Buddha's birth, death, and enlightenment; all 3 events by divine cosmic luck occurred on the same day
Celebrated in April or May of the Gregorian calendar
Celebratory rituals include gathering in monasteries before sunrise to listen to stories about Buddha's life; offering of flowers, incense, and candles to Buddha; and to remember to practice the the Five Precepts.
In addition, Buddhists in Sri Lanka celebrate by releasing bugs and animals as symbolic reference to Buddha's release of the soul from unwilling imprisonment and torture.
Practitioners celebrating in India by offering candles Buddha.
Show to honor Buddha by Buddhists in Vietnam
Hana Matsuri is the Japanese Buddhists' version of Vesak: the celebration of Buddha's birthday
Occurs in April, when the cherry blossoms bloom creating an aesthetically beautiful celebration.
The story behind Hana Matsuri is that the earth came alive when Buddha was born. Flowers bloomed, animals came to life, and baby Buddha declared his mission of bringing peace to earth.
People celebrate by offering flowers and incense. Children pour honey or sweet tea over baby statues of Buddha to represent the sweet spring rain that fell the day of his birth.
Magha Puja Day
Also called Sangha Day
Happens in March
This holiday celebrates the time when Buddha preached to a king and 1,000 people at Rajagaha. The king and his people were so convinced by Buddha's message they decided to convert on the spot, and the king donated a bamboo grove for "Sangha's use."
Festival of the Tooth
Celebrated in Sri Lanka
Buddha's tooth is a relic kept in many different casket's Sri Lanka.
On the day of the Festival of the Tooth, the Sri Lanka government takes the tooth out of the caskets and puts it on display on the back of an elephant for Buddhist practitioners to see.
Festival of the Floating Bowls
Buddhists in Thailand makes bowls out of leaves and flowers, then light candles placed in the middle of the bowls. They then float the bowls down the river.
This celebration is supposed to represent bad luck floating away.
Festival of the Floating Bowls is a soul cleansing celebration.
The Lantern Festival is celebrated at the end of the Chinese New Year.
Celebrated on the day that is supposed to be the day the gods go to Heaven to pay respects to the supreme God: Jade Emperor.
Also the day the "Kitchen God" for each family makes his annual report to the Jade Emperor.
People celebrate with fireworks, paper lanterns, plays, parades, acrobatics in the streets; it is basically a giant street carnival.
Stories of Origin
The Jade Emperor was going to destroy the city with fire out of anger. So citizens lit lanterns and from the heavens, it looked like the city was already aflame.
Emperor of the Han dynasty prayed for good weather and fortune for his people. They lit lanterns to thank the Jade Emperor for bestowing the city with both.
The Lantern Festival is the birthday of the "Heavenly Official Who Gives Blessings," and he likes entertainment. The citizens celebrate to please him and gain blessings.
Dragon Boat Festival
The Dragon Boat Festival honors Qu Yuan, who was a poet who ended corruption in the government under the Zhou Dynasty.
Yuan was disappointed in humanity and their evils, so he drowned himself in the river after composing a final poem.
People celebrate by having dragon boat races in the rivers and sharing poetry, in honor of Qu Yuan.
Qu Yuan's Final
Many a heavy sigh I have in my despair, /
Grieving that I was born in such an unlucky time. /
I yoked a team of jade dragons to a phoenix chariot, /
And waited for the wind to come, /
To soar up on my journey
Tomb Sweeping Day
Tomb Sweeping Day is a holiday to honor family traditions and one's ancestors.
People celebrate by offering cold food to dead ancestors.
Celebrated on the 15th day of the 7th lunar month
A day when Daoist practitioners pay homage to their ancestors
Similar to Tomb Sweeping Day but celebrated at different times in the year
Double 9th Festival
Occurs on the ninth day of the ninth lunar month; hence the name "Double 9th Festival."
Celebrations include wearing Zhuhyu plants and drinking chrysanthemum wine, all while climbing up a mountain.
Celebrated on September 28th
The holiday is celebrated in a very precise manner ritualistic wise. It includes music, dancing, burning incense, and chanting.
As Confucius is the "founder" and main teacher in the religion, his birthday is the most important celebrated holiday.
Ching Ming Festival
Held 106 days precisely after the winter solstice
Day for Confucians to honor and celebrate their deceased ancestors and other family members
Pre-birth celebrations: held 4 months before when the soul enters body
Baby Initiations: similar to Christian name/ christening celebrations
Coming of age celebration: held for both boys and girls when they turn 13 years of age
Womanhood celebration: held when a girl turns 16; supposed to be the first time she arranges her hair
Birthdays 61, 77, and 88 for both men and women
Each temple will honor the kami that watches over it on a yearly celebration.
Celebrations usually include a parade and offerings of fish, rice, and vegetables to the resident kami.
People are also blessed by a priest who will fling Sakaki branches dipped in Shinto's version of Holy water at people.
New Year Celebrations
Begins in December and runs into January
Begins with a ceremonial house cleaning
On December 31st, a tree is placed at the entrance of every dwelling to welcome the kami spirits.
December 31st is a national day of purification.
On January 1st, worshipers stay up late or wake up early to see the sunrise, then visit the local, then go and celebrate with friends and family.
One month long celebration held from March to April
Worshipers practice purification rituals and ask the kamis for a blessed growing season.
Held in June
Time when the Shinto faithful ask for protection for crops during the growing season.
The fall festival is the largest of the three.
It is the greatest celebration of the kamis.
Shinto worshipers celebrate by offering some of the crops grown to the various kamis.
The fall festival is the Shinto version of American Thanksgiving.
The 6 Gahambars
Gahambars are communal feasts celebrated 6 times a year.
They are very cleansing holiday, as it is a time for the rich to dine with the poor, for people to settle disputes, and a time for peace in the land.
The celebration consists of a brief religious ceremony (usually under an hour) and is followed by a grand feast.
The Six Gahambars and their Themes
Apr 30 - May 4: Maidyozarem.....Mid-spring
Jun 29 - Jul 3: Maidyoshem.....Mid-summer
Sep 12 - 16: Paitishem.....Harvest time
Oct 12 - 16: Ayathrem.....Herding time
Dec 31 - Jan 4: Maidyarem.....Mid-winter
Mar 16 - 20: Hamaspathmaidyem.....Mid-path-of-all
Khordad Sal is the celebration of Zoroaster's (the Zoroastrian prophet) birthday.
This is a time for Zoroastrians to think back on their past year's worth of deeds, both good and bad; it is kind of like a time for "New Year's resolutions."
People celebrate by eating LOTS of food and saying a thanks giving type prayer.
Zoroastrians see Khordad Sal as a time to give gifts and do charitable deeds: similar to the Christian celebrations of Christmas.
ABOVE: Zoroastrians celebrating Khordad Sal.
RIGHT: Image of Zoroaster himself.
Zarthost No Deeso
Celebration of the prophet Zoroaster's death day.
Happens in June
Celebrated by reading scripture and remembering the wise words of Zoraster, very much like the Buddhist holiday Vesak.
Held on March 21st
Navroz is a new year's type holiday for Zoroastrians.
People celebrate by repainting dingy houses, cleaning homes and business. The holiday is very similar to the Hindu one of Divali.
This is most celebrated Zoroastrian holiday.
Living Religions by Mary Pat Fisher