Buddhism began in India in the late 500 BCE as a result of the teachings of a prince called Siddharta Gautama, who was later known as Gautama Buddha. In ancient Indian language, Buddha refers to a person who has wisdom, compassion, and is self-aware. Buddhists celebrate the Buddha as the free-thinking human being. He is an incarnation of God. The foundation of practice and faith for Buddhists is the Buddha teachings, known as Dharma . On the other hand, Daoism began in China in 604 BCE, with the ancient philosopher called Lao Tzu. The most important concept in Daoism is the Dao. Dao refers to; the ultimate reality, the laws of nature and the way of the universe and the way of human life. Daoism is classified into two classes; religious Daoism and philosophical Daoism. Lastly, Confucianism was founded by Confucius, one of the most influential philosophers of China. It is a system of moral, communal, political, and spiritual teaching founded by Confucius .
The three Revolution groups have various beliefs. Most Buddhists believe that; everyone is affected by the past deeds; rebirth occurs in human form, nothing in the world is everlasting. They also follow the ‘Eightfold path’ and believe in the ‘Four Noble Truths’. Confucianism beliefs stresses much on love for the family, hard work, honesty, education, trustworthiness, service to one’s country. They have a belief that problems affecting societies are due to greed, arrogance, desire for wealth, hunger for attention, and fame. Daoism beliefs include; harmony with nature and being satisfied with life are the finest way to live. Daoists do not think that a strong government or structure is necessary for a country. They prefer going with the flow of things or “oneness with the Dao”. They also believe that observing nature can help one learn anything in life .
Buddhists worship in the temple, which includes a statue of Buddha and a shrine. Lay Buddhists always make offerings of light candles, incest and flowers in front of the statue and meditate. Worship is in the form of meditation, reciting Buddha teachings and repeated sounds such as ‘Aum’ or ‘Om’. Daoists also worship in the temple and have monks and nuns. They view some mountains as sacred and make offerings at these mountains . Confucians also worship in temples, meditate while worshipping and make offerings to their God.
Buddhists have various traditions such as Theravada and Mahayana. These traditions don’t allow eating meat and fish because they are viewed as bad karma, since it is possible to reincarnate animals as human beings. A portion of the Theravada and Mahayana traditions followers are vegans. Buddhists from Vietnam and China do not eat onions, leek and garlic because these foods are believed to enhance anger and one’s sexual desire. The monks fast from all types of food on the full moon and new moon of each lunar month. Buddhists usually abstain from alcohol since it is considered to alter the mind .
Buddhists festivals provide a chance to celebrate and express appreciation and devotion to Buddha. The way they carry out celebrations and the dates of the festivals vary from country to country and between traditions. The lunar calendar is used by most Buddhists. In Mahayan Buddhists countries, Buddha day is viewed as the most significant festival and it commemorates the birth and enlightenment of Buddha. It is celebrated in May on the first day of the full moon, however, in a leap year, it is celebrated in June. In Theravada countries, it is referred to as Wesak day. During the Buddha day, water is poured on Buddha’s shoulders to remind the Buddhists of the need for purification of the heart and mind. As a sign of respect, offerings of foodstuffs to the monks and offerings of flowers and incense for the shrines are done .
The Confucians hold the Qufu International Confucius Culture Festival annually between the 26th September and the 28th of September at the hometown of Confucius. Celebrations include the grand festival of worshipping Confucius and performances at the Confucius temple and Confucius cemetery. They are usually accompanied by ancient dance and music. These festivals commemorate the famous philosopher, Confucius; have introduced the Chinese Culture to the entire world. The Daoists also observe many festivals. On the ninth day of the first month of the lunar calendar, they celebrate the birthday of the Jade Emperor, with prearranged rituals and offerings. They have other festivals such as the Three Primes festival, the Upper Prime Festival and the Middle Prime Festival .
People always view Daoism, Buddhism and Confucianism as the three well organized religions in China. However, most people always see Confucianism as heading the three religions. Many Confucianism ethical ideas were absorbed in Daoism as it developed. It is considered that Daoism rituals and scriptures benefited from the presence of Buddhism. The three revolution groups had a number of rituals, festivals to commemorate the birthdays of the founders .
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