Confucianism is considered more as a system of social and ethical philosophy rather than a religion. Confucianism (Ruism) is a way of life taught by Confucius (Kong Fuzi) in China in the 6th-5th century BCE and the rituals and traditions associated with him. Here are main five beliefs of Confucianism.
1. Silver Rule of Behaviour
The rule is simple, and it implies that what you do not wish to choose for yourself, never impose it on someone else.
2. The five virtues
(i) Jen – Helpfulness, empathy, and kind nature
(ii) Yi – Rightness, duty as guardians of nature and humanity
(iii) Li – Right conduct, appropriateness and outward expression to demonstrate your inner attitude
(iv) Chih – Wise thinking
(v) Hsin – Trustworthiness and faithfulness
These virtues are very important for everyone, but it is important especially for the leader.
3. Five relationships
(i) Father and Son
(ii) A Ruler and a Citizen
(iii) Husband and Wife
(iv) Older Brother and Younger Brother
(v) Between two friends
Each one of these relationships must contain mutual respect to keep the relationship working. Each one of us must perform our role to the best of our relationship, and one must honor and remember the members who have died. Ancestors are not to be seen as gods but remembering them is considered as an important act Hsin.
According to Confucianism six separate things happen during marriage rituals-
(i) Proposal – Both sides of the relationship share and compare the hour, day, month, and year of the birth of the bride and groom. If any upsetting events happen within the bride’s family within the next three days of the proposal, then it is believed that she has rejected the proposal.
(ii) Engagement – After the couple decides the date of the wedding then the bride announces the wedding with invitations and gifts of cookies that are shaped like the moon.
(iii) Dowry – A dowry is considered as the transfer of parental belongings when their daughter is getting married.
(iv) Procession – The groom then proceeds to the bride’s home and then brings her back to his home with much happiness and excitement.
(v) Marriage – The couple then recites their vows that will bond them together for their entire life, toast each other wine and then take the center of the stage with their families and their friends.
(vi) Morning After – On the morning after the bride serves breakfast to the groom’s parents and then the parents do the same.
After the death of the loved one, the family members cry loudly to inform the neighbors of the bad news. The body of the beloved one is then placed in a coffin, and many family members and friends bring money to help with the funeral. The foods and objects that were of some importance to the deceased one are placed along with him or her into the coffin. The priest performs the burial ritual, and the guests follow the coffin carrying the large branch of the willow tree. This willow tree is meant to symbolize the soul of the person who died. After that, the branch is taken back to the family altar where it is believed that it is used to install the spirit of the deceased one.