Taoism is often referred to as Daoism. This Chinese philosophy ais also recognized as a common belief or religion. This ancient Chinese belief or religion encourages believers to stay in complete harmony with the entire universe. According to the philosophy of Taoism, humans and animals should exist in the universe to maintain a well balanced universe. Taoism rituals are also very different from the rituals of the other world religions. Taoism funeral rites and rituals are also pretty different from the funerals rites of other religions.
Taoist Funeral Ritual Procedures
Taoist funeral rites differ largely from many other prominent religions in the world. There are a series of funeral processes and preparations that the Taoist people follow. However, these funeral rituals might vary from one Taoist believer to another. Some of these Taoist funeral ritual processes and procedures include:
- Funeral Body Preparation
There are funeral professionals who prepare the bodies of the deceased once they are transfered to a funeral parlour. The deceased are prepared for the cremation or burial ceremony. The body of the deceased are properly cleaned, wiped well with a towel, and dusted with talcum powder.
The professionals would then pick nice attires for the deceased to dress them up. The colors that are usually picked for the attire are blue, white, black, or brown. The deceased are dressed in special seven-layered attires made of quality material. This tradition ensures that the deceased would stay warm even in their afterlife.
- Sacred Ceremony
Right before the start of the funeral, there is a sacred ceremony. In this ceremony, a sacred lamp is lighted. This symbolizes wisdom. Apart from that, candles are also lightes. These symbolize moonlight and sunlight. Tea is also used and it symbolizes yin, whereas, rice symbolizes yang. Water symblizes the union of Yin and Yang. In this ceremony, five fruits with different colors are used. These colors include black, green, white, red, and yellow. They symbolize five elements: water, metal, wood, and fire.
- Funeral Service
Another aspect of the Taoism funeral rites and rituals is the funeral service. In this funeral ceremony, flowers, photos, and incence are used. The smell of the flowers and incense is used for surrounding the deceased. Taoism believes in celebrating life more than they celebrate death. During this service, priests chant special prayers and others play symbols, drums, and other instruments. A special ritual takes place right after to ward off the evil spirit. Offerings are made in terms of favorite food of the deceased and money. Priests also burn Joss paper during the ceremony.
- Taoist funeral food
During Taoism funeral services, a feast is very important. A seat is left right in front of the feast for the deceased spirit. Taoism funeral rites and rituals need to include a total of eight dishes. Two of these disease include sweet soup and a dessert called sugar water. Other items that are included in this funeral feast are horsemeat, beef, fish, and other meat.
The entire Taoism funeral service comes to an end with mourning for 49 days. Mourners wear white attire during the mourning days. Taoist men wear white headbands and women wear white colored hoods. Children or grandchildren of the one deceased would not be able to cut hair.