200909281157教師節閱讀孔子:Ancient Confucian Ceremonies of August Majesty


教師節閱讀孔子

Through the long stream along which the timeless currents of Chinese culture have flowed, we reach today. And today, as yesterday, Confucian tenets form the core of the belief system.
【文/Discover Taipei】

Through the long stream along which the timeless currents of Chinese culture have flowed, we reach today. And today, as yesterday, Confucian tenets form the core of the belief system. The wide-ranging teachings of this man of great learning run broad as well as deep, and touch every aspect of all Chinese people's lives—and thus he is justly called the Great Sage and First Teacher (至聖先師). In reverence for this paragon he established throughout the Chinese world, respect has been shown through the building of temples dedicated to the Sage, and through the great pains taken to preserve the ancient rites in worshiping him.

Heritage Sites that Are Artworks

In the old days, the community of Dalongtong was famed as a font of refined men of letters. It is brimming with important cultural/historical relics, notably Baoan Temple, 44 Kan St. (44 Thresholds St.; 四十四坎街), Linji Huguo Zen Buddhist Temple (臨濟護國禪寺), and the Chen Yue-ji Residence (陳悅記祖宅). This is also site of the city's Taipei Confucius Temple, where key rites honoring the Great Sage are carried out. The temple was thoroughly refurbished in 1925 thanks to altruistic donations by two local notables, Chen Pei-gen (陳培根) and Koo Xian-rong (辜顯榮), along with contributions from the flock of faithful local Confucius devotees. The intricate work was only completed in 1939, and in 1971 the temple complex was gifted to the country. In 1972, the Taipei City Confucius Temple Governing Board (臺北市孔廟管理委員會) was created to run the site, with the city government the oversight body, and in 1992 the temple was declared a national heritage site of the third rank.

 

 

 

 

 

Taipei Confucius Temple is laid out in the classical style, following the example of the Qufu (曲阜) temple, the hometown of Confucius. South Fujian architectural motifs have been liberally blended in. The main architectural elements are Dacheng Hall (大成殿), Wan Ren Palace Wall (萬仞宮牆), massive portals such as the Ling Xing Gate (櫺星門), and Pan Pond (泮池). Throughout the complex you will see superb examples of the use of koji pottery (交趾陶), a bright and colorful style of ceramics that originated for use in temple decorations and for which Taiwan is justly famed. Overall, however, the architectural styling is sober and simple, unlike the ebullient Daoist temples, in keeping with the refined self-control espoused in Confucian learning. Tourguides are available in Chinese, English, Japanese, and Korean, and each year in September elaborate worship rites are carried out in the ancient style on Teachers' Day. This temple is at the core of Confucian learning and propagation in the Chinese-speaking world, and people come from around the island and from lands far away to attend this uniquely important ceremony.

Grand Occasion of Grandees – The Annual Memorial Confucius Ceremony

 

 

 

 

 

On Teachers' Day, bright and early at 5 am, sacrificial rites are carried out in honor of the ancestors of Confucius that symbolize his teachings that children should always remember their roots and be filial in paying their respects to their ancestors. Then, at 6 am, the formal“928 Confucius Ceremony”(928釋奠典禮) begins—“928”refers to Sept. 28, Teachers' Day—following procedures that have been re-enacted for 2000 years at ruling courts throughout the imperial era. Great pains have been taken to ensure the authenticity of such formal rites as the formal drum and bell soundings, and that musical instruments used exactly as they were in ancient times. The ceremonies entail 37 distinct elements, including (in the correct order) three Drum Rolls, Opening the Gates, Burying the Sacrificial Remnants, Welcoming the Spirit, Presenting the Sacrificial Feast, Offering Incense, Chanting the Blessing, Escorting the Spirit, Sending the Silk Spirit-Money and Prayer Inscription, and so on. There is much sombre and gracious music and dancing by—appropriately—young students specially trained—recreating events precisely as if you had been transported back century after century. The effect is both riveting and almost overpowering at times, and tourists and Confucian scholars in the thousands come each year to bear witness to this rarest of ritual. You'll be awestruck by the deep reverence shown for a single man, the great teacher of an entire people, and the age-old value placed on education still so strongly in evidence in the 21st century.

Confucianism—Something Old Yet Boldly New

 

 

 

 

 

Continuing in the spirit of the Teachers' Day Memorial Confucian Ceremony, and using the ceremony as its launch pad, the fervor and interest in the world of Confucianism is given greater impetus by the organizer, the Taipei City Government, with a three-month season of activities that continues right through December. This annual festival of culture, started in 2006, focuses international attention on the continuing vitality of Confucianism and acts as a platform for interchange between the temple and Confucianist organizations at home and abroad. The many activities are many-themed and distinctively stimulating edu-tainment, closing the gap between tradition and modern everyday living.

 

 

 

 

 

The three-month celebration is called the“Taipei Confucius Temple Cultural Season”(臺北孔廟文化季) and brings you a bright and enlightening series of activities centered on the themes of Confucius, Confucianism, and historical relics, escorting this trio directly into people's everyday lives. On Sept. 16, international exchange students will come to conduct worship rites for the master teacher, and on Sept. 28, the ancient Confucius memorial rituals are carried out, complemented by activities highlighting traditional arts and culture. In October there will be events focused on classical poetic-style singing and on the tea ceremony for youngsters. In November, intimate introductions to historic sites are to be on the menu, combined with traditional creative-arts performances, in an activity program entitled“Reflections on the Confucius Temple – Cherishing the Past~Wandering Heritage Sites, Searching for New Meaning.”(玩味孔廟.懷舊時光~行腳古蹟尋新意) In December comes the“Stories of a Heritage Site – Classical Original Flavors~Confucius Temple Rhapsody,”(古蹟故事.經典原味~孔廟狂想曲) where the charms of the temple complex are brought to life with grand soirees of traditional and modern art and music. For more details on the temple and on the many related events and activities, visit www.ct.taipei.gov.tw.

Discover Taipei2009年9月號】

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