The Research of Comparison among Xiang Ceremony, Shi Ceremony and Yan Ceremony
|Keywords:||饗禮;食禮;燕禮;Xiang Ceremony;Shi Ceremony;Yan Ceremony||Issue Date:||2010||Abstract:||
The origin of Chinese food culture starts in a very early history, according to the ancient books, Xiang ceremony, Shi ceremony and Yan ceremony are the first ones that have complete records. The records show that research of the three ceremonies started at about the same time with the study of the Chinese classics research. However, an in-depth research to compare the three is rarely found. Xiang, Shi and Yan Ceremony is commonly mentioned in the records dating back to the Chin dynasty, and there are a lot of similarities but also differences; if we do not have a full scale comparison of the three, it’s very likely to occur confusion. For example that’s why there’s a lot of saying that Xiang and Yan are the same ceremony or that Xiang Ceremony it was just a drinking ceremony with village scholars; these confusions are all caused by a lack a proper in-depth comparison researching the three ceremonies.
The ceremony is not only a ritual, but there’s also an inner meaning of courtesy for it. Therefore, to know the similarity and differences between the three, you have to know the inner meanings of them first. After searching and digesting among many ancient records, the author believes that the core meaning of Xiang Ceremony is “Respect”, for Shi Ceremony it is “Sincerity” and “Happiness” for Yang Ceremony; these are the major differences between the three. On the other hand, there are also some identical points; although the core meaning of Shi and Yang are different from Xiang, it does not mean that there is no respect in the first two, which you can actually find reference in the numerous times of paying obeisance to each other and food sacrifice records. Another identical point is the “Cleanness” in the three ceremonies which is reflected in the preparation of the tray, water-pouring pot and serviettes.
Although the courtesy meaning is the core and the essence of the ceremony, one can not ignore the external behavior of it. For example, the characteristics of the host and guest, the place where the ceremony is held, the ritual and the music played during the ceremony are also important to distinguish different ceremonies. The characteristics of the host and guest, explains the status of their position; for the place where it is held, there are different meanings between assembly hall and temple; for the ritual, the sacrifice and the obeisance are the same among the ceremonies, but the differences are the Guan ritual in Xiang ceremony, drinking wine without counting in Yan ceremony, and in Shi ceremony, they do not prepare foods for the host ; for the aspect of music, the cause for the music they played is also different; and there’s a dispute whether Shi Ceremony uses music or not. When discussing the rituals of the ceremonies, one should understand the underlying meaning of courtesy. Which in turn shows the thoroughly paced thoughts of the ancient people during the fabricating of the ceremonies. Also, by rebuilding the ritual of the Xiang Ceremony and to compare with Shi and Yang Ceremonies, one will know why it has flourished more and is well accepted by the public and also leads to a break through for the research of Xiang Ceremony.
There are already lots of unsettled disputes about which of the three ceremonies are more important. After searching across numerous references and combining the views of Sociology and Anthropology, the author believes that in terms of function, one should not force to rank the importance of the three, which in this way, should slightly resolve the arguments that have lasted for the past two thousand years.
|Appears in Collections:||中國文學系|
Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.