Tracing the origin of Taoism, we could find that Taoist school was one of the various schools of thought and their exponents during the period from pre-Qin times to the early years of the Han Dynasty. But the real Taoism order was formed in Eastern Han Dynasty and gradually perfect in the Northern and Southern Dynasties (420-589).Because ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Zi was the founder of Taoism, some sects of Taoism deified him and respected him as Supernatural Being of Moral(道德天尊) and his book Dao De Jing as the doctrine.
About the history of Taoism, we can divide it into four parts: the origin period, flourishing in Tang and Song Dynasties, the form of Quanzhenjiao and decline period. Now, because there is no strict admittance rite in Taoism, it’s very difficult to calculate the number of it’s followers.
Taoism is about the Tao(道), literally means the Way. However it's really hard to explain exactly what Tao is. In Lao Zi's explanation,the Tao is the ultimate creative principle of the universe. All things are unified and connected in the Tao.The Tao is not God and is not worshipped. Taoism includes many deities, that are worshipped in Taoist temples(道观).
1). achieving harmony or union with nature
2). the pursuit of spiritual immortality
3). being 'virtuous' (but not ostentatiously so)
5). Taoist practices include:
7). feng shui
8). fortune telling
Festivals of Taoism
Sanyuanjie(三元节sān yuán jié) are important religious festivals in Taoism. As a general name, refers to birthdays of three heavenly official emperors(三元大帝) in Taoism.Taoism believes that the sky, the earth and the water are three basic elements for producing the universe. And the sky emperor was born on the fifteenth day of the first month of Lunar Year, so his birthday was called 上元节(shàng yuán jié) or元宵节(yuán xiāo jié，the Lantern Festival);The earth emperor was born on the fifteenth day of the seventh month of Lunar Year, and his birthday was called中元节(zhōng yuán jié)or鬼节(guǐjié, Chinese Ghost Festival); The water emperor was born on the fifteenth day of the tenth month of Lunar Year, and his birthday was called 下元节(xià yuán jié).
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