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Taoism Religious Animal Sacrifices

Animal Sacrifices for Chinese New Year events

Taoism is a Chinese domestic religious. Many Chinese families worship the god on god's birthday. It's quite common to worship the Land of God on a regular schedule - every 1st day and 15th day of the lunar calendar. More Taoism events are held during the Chinese New Year festival.

To worship the god, Chinese will prepare fruit, flower, wine, tea, rice, cake, animal sacrifices, candles and heaven/hell paper money to thank god's gracious protection.

Back to thousand years ago, the Chinese prepared sacrifices using cow, pig and goat. People chose these animals as their escape goat to get rid of people's sin. Base on reincarnation of religion, four-leg animals have more sin than human. Their heads hardly move up to watch the sky, because animals are shame to face the heaven.

Today's Chinese prepare the sacrifices using pork, chicken, duck, goose, fish, egg, pig liver, etc. Cow was removed, because cow helps farmers working on the farmer land. For big events, people have to prepare five different sacrifices. The common Five-Sacrifices are pork, chicken, duck, fish and pig liver ( or egg). For the small events or for low rank gods, people prepare only three kind of sacrifices. The common Three-Sacrifices are pork, chicken and fish.  Chicken is a whole chicken and fish is a whole fish. The sacrifices contain one four-leg animal, one two-leg animal and no-leg fish. Later, some people simplified Thee-Sacrifices as a slice of pork, Chicken egg and cuttlefish.

Taoism is polytheism. When a big event is held, such as the birthday of Jade Emperor, many gods will arrive for the worship party. Chinese family will prepare two tables. The upper table serves fruit, flower and vegetable without meat for higher rank gods, because they are vegetarians. The lower table serves food and sacrifices, which for low rank gods or subordinates of gods.

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By Master Allen Tsai on November 1, 2021

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