times, people believed in ancestor
worship. They spoke to their ancestors and asked for advice
and help by using oracle
times, Confucianism, Taoism
and Buddhism became known as the Three Doctrines, or the "Three
Teachings". In T'ang times, a man might honor his ancestors by
following the rigid rules of social behavior as dictated by Confucianism,
attend a Buddhist
pageant, and practice Taoist
breathing exercises, all in the same day. These three doctrines
were an important part of daily life.
At all times, the ancient Chinese believed in a great
many gods and goddesses, magical beings, dragons, and ghosts.
The Kitchen God was an important
ancient deity. Once each year, right before the
new year, this god's job was
to make an annual report about the behavior of the household to his
boss, the "Jade Emperor".
As part of the Chinese
New Year celebration, sweets were often exchanged so that the kitchen
god's report would be sweet and flattering. (Nobody believes in the
kitchen god anymore, but almost everyone in China still hands out treats
during Chinese New Year.)
Bones & Ancestor Worship