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Da-Qing tongli 大清通禮

Jan 23, 2014 © Ulrich Theobald

(Qinding) Da-Qing tongli (欽定)大清通禮 "(Imperially Endorsed) Comprehensive Canon on Rituals of the Great Qing" is a collection of court rituals of the Qing dynasty 清 (1644-1911) compiled on imperial order between 1736 and 1757.

The book of 50 juan is headed by a chapter on the great rituals in the ancestral hall (chaomian dadian 朝廟大典) and imperially promulgates forms of ceremonies (欽頒儀式).

The main part of the text describes the five types of rituals. The model for the compilation was the ancient ritual Classic Yili 儀禮, with some references on the Zhouli 周禮. The texts does not describe how the particular rites developed in the first hundred years of the dynasty, but only comments on their importance.

Concerning the ritual objects and implements, the text lists the number of particular tools, and their position on the altar or during the ceremony, but not their concrete appearance. Such information can only be found in the ritual canons Huidian zeli 會典則例 and Huidian tu 會典圖, and the canon Liqi tushi 禮器圖式.

Not many dynastic rituals have survived, like the Kaiyuan li 開元禮 from the Tang period 唐 (618-907), the Zhenghe wuli xinyi 政和五禮新儀 from the Southern Song period 南宋 (1127-1279), the Da-Jin jili 大金集禮 of the Jurchens, founders of the Jin dynasty 金 (1115-1234), and the Da-Ming jili 大明集禮 of the Ming dynasty 明 (1368-1644).

The Da-Qing tongli is very detailed and describes a huge number of ceremonies – altough there are still some of which are not described. Compared with earlier canonical texts on rituals, it is the most exact and detailed source.

Table 1. Contents of the Da-Qing tongli 大清通禮
吉禮 Auspicious Rites
1 南郊 Sacrifices in the southern suburbs, 冬日至 at the beginning of Winter, 大祀 the Grand Sacrifices, 孟春上辛 ceremonies on the first xin day in the first month of Spring, 祈榖 praying for grain, 龍見 the appearance of dragons, 常雩 constant fog, 大雩 great fog, 因事祇告 declaration to the (ancestral) spirits in case of an extraordinary event, 升配 entering the temple and presenting sacrifices
2 北郊 Sacrifices in the northern suburbs, 夏日至 at the beginning of Summer, 大祭 the Grand Offerings, 因事祇告, declaration to the (ancestral) spirits in case of an extraordinary event, 升配 entering the temple and presenting sacrifices
3 宗廟 Sacrifices at the ancestral temple, 時饗 banqueting the ancestors during the four seasons, 大祫 the Grand Prayers, 親詣祇告 announcement to the ancestral spirits by the emperor in person, 遣官祇告 announcement to the ancestral spirits by a deputy, 升祔 entering the temple and presenting sacrifices, 加上尊諡 the additional bestowal of posthumous honorific titles, 恭進玉册 the presentation of jade registers (genealogies), 玉寶 of jade jewels
4 奉先殿 Sacrifices in the Hall of Ancestral Worship, 親饗 by the emperor in person, 遣官祭饗 by sending an emissary, 親詣祇告 the emperor's declaration to ancestral spirits, 遣官祇告 sending an emissary for declaration, 月朔望奠獻 presenting offerings on the first and fifteenth day of the lunar month, 升祔 entering the temple and presenting sacrifices
5 陵寢 The imperial mausolea, 親謁 personal visit by the emperor, 后妃謁奠 visit and sacrificial banquets delivered by the imperial consort, 親饗 personal banquet delivered by the emperor, 遣官饗薦 by an emissary, 寶城上土 erection of a circumvallation, 聖誕奠獻 presenting offerings on the emperor's birthday, 萬壽節奠獻 presenting offerings on an [ancestor's] birthday, 朔望謁奠 visit and offerings on the first and fifteenth day of the lunar month, 因事祇告 announcement to the spirits of extraordinary affairs, 皇子恭謁 visit by the heir apparent, 羣臣恭謁 visit by court officials, 園寢致祭 processing to the tomb to deliver sacrifices
6 社稷 Sacrifices to the spirits of Soil and Grain, 春秋親祭 the emperor's personal sacrifices in Spring and Autumn, 因事祇告 announcement to the spirits of extraordinary events, 祈報 bao prayers in Autumn and Winter, 直省常祀 regular offerings in the provinces, 直省祈報 qi and bao offerings in the provinces
7 朝日 Offerings to the Sun, 親祀 by the emperor in person, 遣官 by sending an emissary, 夕月 offerings to the moon, 親祀 by the emperor in person, 遣官 by sending an emissary
8 先農 Sacrifices to the Divine Husbandman, 親饗 by the emperor in person, 遣官 by sending an emissary, 直省饗先農 sacrifices in the provinces, 先蠶 Sacrifices to the Goddess of Silk, 皇后親饗 by the empress in person, 遣妃 by sending a court lady, 遣官 by sending an emissary
9 歷代帝王親饗 Personal delivering by the emperor of sacrifices [in the ancestral temple], 遣官 sending emissaries for sacrifices, 時廵親饗 personal sacrifices during inspection tours, 時廵遣官 sending emissaries during inspection tours, 因事遣官 sending emissaries [for the announcement] of extraordinary affairs, 直省所在專祭 specific sacrifices on the spot in the provinces
10 傳心殿 Sacrifices in the Hall of the Transmission of the Heart, 親詣祇告 the emperor's declaration to the spirits, 遣官祇告 sending an emissary for declaration to the spirits, 月朔望常祀 regular offerings on the first and the fifteenth day of each month
11 先師 Sacrifices to Confucius, 春秋親詣太學釋奠 the emperor's arrangement of sacrificial banquets in the National University in Spring and Autumn, 遣官釋奠 sending an official for sacrificial banquets, 臨雍釋奠 the emperor's attendance in the Biyong School for sacrificial banquets, 月朔釋菜 presenting food on the first day of each month, 月望上香 offering incense at full moon, 賓興釋褐 banqueting and vesting graduates, 因事祇告 announcement to the spirit because of an extrordinary affair, 親釋奠闕里 the emperor's presenting of sacrificial banquets in Queli (Qufu), 謁孔林 visiting Confucius Forest, 遣官釋奠周公 sending an emissary for sacrificial banquets to the Duke of Zhou, 遣官釋奠顔曾孔孟四氏 sending an emissary for sacrificial banquets to Yan Hui, Zeng Shen, Confucius and Mengzi, 直省釋奠釋菜 sacrificial banquets in the provinces, 直省忠孝節孝名宦鄉賢祠 shrines for loyal, filial, modest, illustrious and worthy persons in the provinces
12 天神 [Sacrifices to] the spirits of Heaven, 祈祀 qi sacrifices in Spring and Summer, 報祀 bao sacrifices in Autumn and Winter, 地祇 to the spirits of the soil, 祈祭 offerings in Spring and Summer, 報祭 offerings in Autumn and Winter, 直省神祇祈報 qi and bao offerings to the spirits of the soil in the provinces, 嶽鎮海瀆 sacrifices to the spirits of mountains, summits, seas and rivers, 時廵親祭方嶽 the emperor's personal sacrifices to the mountains during inspection tours, 遣官祭方鎮 dispatching officials to deliver sacrifices to the summits, 遣官祭所過名山大川 dispatching officials to deliver sacrifices to famous mountains and large rivers to be passed (during an inspection tour), 時廵所過大川上香 delivering incense to mountains and rivers to be passed during an inspection tour, 嶽鎮海瀆因事徧祭 universal sacrifices to mountains and rivers because of an important event, 嶽鎮海瀆所在專祭 specific sacrifices to mountains, summits, seas and rivers on the spot, 名山大川所在特祭 special sacrifices to mountains and rivers on the spot, 直省山川專祠 specific shrines for mountains and rivers in the provinces
13 太歲 Offerings to Jupiter (star god presiding over the year), 元旦歲除迎祖 receiving the ancestral spirits on the New Year's Day, 祈報 qi prayers in Spring and Summer and bao sacrifices in Autumn and Winter, 真武廟 prayers at the temple of the Martial Emperor, 火神廟 at the temple of the God of Fire, 礮神 to the God of Cannons
14 都城隍廟 [Ceremonies at] the Temple of the City God of the capital cities, 東嶽廟 at the Temple of the Eastern Summit, 黑龍潭龍神祠 at the shrine of the dragon spirit of the Black Dragon Pond, 玉泉山龍神祠 at the shrine of the dragon spirit of the Jade Well Mountain, 后土司工神 to the spirits of the Goddess of the Soil and the God of Works, 窑神門神 to the Kitchen God and the door spirits, 倉神 to the Blue Spirit [God of Grain]
15 先醫廟 [Ceremonies at] the Temple of the God of Medicine, 關帝廟 the God of War, 直省所在神祠 shrines throughout the provinces, 時廵遣祭聖賢忠烈名臣勲臣祠墓 sacrifices at the shrines and tombs of Saints, worthies, loyal heroes and meritorious officials during inspection tours, 賢良祠 at the shrines of worthies, 直省賢良祠 at the shrines of worthies in the provinces, 京師功臣專祠 at shrines dedicated to meritorious officials in the capital, 盛京賢王祠 in Shengjing, 昭忠祠 at the shrines of loyal persons, 雙忠祠 at the shrine of the two loyal persons [Zhang Xun 張巡 and Xu Yuan 許遠], 忠勇祠 at the shrine of the loyal heroes, app. 直省祭厲附 offerings to evil spirits throughout the provinces
16 親王世子郡王家祭 Family sacrifices of imperial princes, their heirs, and commandery princes, 貝勒貝子宗室公家祭 of beile, beise and imperial dukes, 品官家祭 of ranked officials, 庶士家祭 of non-ranked officials, 庶人家祭 of commoners
嘉禮 Congratulatory rites
17 太和殿朝賀 Congratulations [to the emperor] in the Hall of Supreme Harmony, 盛京朝賀 in Shengjing, 外官朝賀 by provincial officials, 皇太后宮朝賀 in the Palace of the Empress Dowager, 皇后宮朝賀 in the Palace of the Empress
18 御門聽政 Large court assemblies in the open, 常朝陞殿 ascending the hall for regular audiences, 常朝坐班 being on duty for regular audiences, 盛京陞殿 ascending the hall in Shengjing, 盛京坐班 being on duty for regular audiences in Shengjing
19 皇帝登極 Enthronement of the emperor
20 恭上皇太后尊號徽號 Bestowing the title of Empress Dowager
21 尊封太妃 Bestowing of title of Imperial Consort, 太嬪 of Imperial Concubine
22 大昏 Grand marriages
23 皇子昏 Marriage of imperial princes, 公主釐降 of princesses, 王公以下昏 of nobles of the rank prince, duke, or lower, 郡主以下出嫁 marriage of princesses of the rank commandery princess and lower
24 品官昏 Marriage of ranked officials, 庶士昏 of non-ranked officials, 庶人昏 of commoners
25 册立皇后 Patents for the investiture of empresses
26 册封皇貴妃 Patents for the investiture of august honoured consorts, 册封貴妃 of honoured consorts, 册妃 of consorts, 册嬪 of concubines
27 册封親王世子郡王 Patents for the investiture of imperial princes, their heirs, and commandery princes, 册封長子貝勒貝子 of older imperial sons, beile and beise princes, 册封公主 of princesses, 册封福晉夫人 of the princely consorts, 册封郡主縣君郡君 of commandery princesses, district mistresses and commandery mistresses
28 頒詔 Pronunciation of edicts, 直省迎詔 reception of edicts in the provinces, 外國迎詔 reception of edicts in foreign countries
29 頒朔 Pronunciation of the next year's calendar, 受朔 acceptance of the calendar, 外國受朔 the imperial calendar in foreign countries, 進春 welcoming Spring, 直省迎春 welcoming Spring in the provinces
30 親耕帝耤 The Emperor ploughing in persion, 直省耕耤 ploughing ceremonies in the provinces
31 皇后躬桑 The Empress plucking mulberry in person
32 恭進實錄 The presentation of veritable records, 聖訓 sacred instructions, 恭進玉牒 the presentation of imperial genealogy
33 經筵進講 Listening to lectures
34 臨雍講書 Lecturing at the Biyong School, 闕里講書 lecturing in Queli (Qufu)
35 順天鄉試 provincial examinations in Shuntian, 直省鄉試 provincial examinations, 會試 metropolitan examinations, 臨軒策士 the emperor's questioning of candidates in the front of the throne hall, 臚傳 proclamation of the graduates, 表謝 expression of gratitude
36 時廵省方 inspection tours to the provinces
37 太和殿燕 Banquets in the Hall of Supreme Harmony, 慈寧宮燕 in the Hall of Benevolent Tranquillity, 歲除燕 on New Year's Eve, 臨雍燕 for the emperor's attendance to the Biyong School, 經筵燕 for the emperor's listening to lectures, 修書燕 for the finishing of a book compilation, 凱旋燕 for military triumphs, 鄉試燕 for provincial examinations, 會試燕 for metropolitan examinations, 恩榮燕 for imperial favours, 會武燕 for the military examinations, 燕衍聖公 for the descendants of Confucius, 燕外國貢使 for emissaries from foreign countries delivering tributes, 王公燕 for princes and dukes
38 順天鄉飲酒 district banquets in Shuntian (Mukden), 直省鄉飲酒 in the provinces
軍禮 Military rites
39 大閱 Grand military inspection, 京營訓練 training of metropolitan garrisons [in the emperor's presence], 直省閱兵 military inspection of provincial troops
40 親征 Personal conduct of war by an emperor, 凱旋 triumphal return, 告至 announcement of return to the ancestors, 飲至策勳 banquets for those whose military achievements are recorded, 告成紀功 bestowal of merits to those recorded, 命將 appointment of generals, 遣使頒勅印 sending emissaries with seals, 納降 accepting surrender, 凱旋 triumphal return, 告成燕賚 banquets feasting victory
41 獻俘 Presentation of captives, 受俘 reception of captives
42 日食救護 Relief during solar eclipses, 月食救護 during lunar eclipses, 直省日月食救護 for individual provinces
賓禮 Hospitality rites
43 外國朝貢 Tributes from foreign countries, 勅封外國 investiture of foreign rulers, 表謝 expression of gratitude
44 宗室外藩親王相見 Meetings of imperial princes, 宗室外藩郡王相見 of commandery princes, 宗室外藩貝勒相見 of beile princes, 宗室外藩貝子公相見 of beise princes, 京官敵體相見 of capital officals of the same rank,   京師屬官見長官 of members of the metropolitan government with senior officials, 國學師弟子相見 of students of the Directorate of Education with teachers, 直省官敵體相見 of provincial officials of the same rank, 直省文官見長官 of provincial civilian officials with senior officials, 直省武職見長官 of provincial military officals with senior officials, 直省官見學政鹽政 of provincial officials with officials of education or the salt administration, 京府官屬相見 of officials of the metropolitan administration, 直省文武官相見 of civilian and military provincial officials, 直省滿漢官見 of Manchu and Chinese provincial officials, 士賓友相見 of scholars and academicians, 受業弟子見師長 of disciples with teachers, 卑幼見尊長 of subordinates with seniors
凶禮 Inauspicious rites
45 列聖大喪 Grand funerals of emperors
46 列后大喪 Grand funerals of empresses
47 皇貴妃喪 Funerals of august honoured consorts, 貴妃喪 of honoured consorts, 妃喪 of consorts, 嬪喪 of concubines, 貴人喪 of court ladies
48 皇太子喪 Funerals of heir apparents, 皇子喪 of imperial princes
Sources:
Lü Li 呂麗, Zhang Jinping 張金平 (2014). "Da-Qing tongli de falü diwei 《大清通禮》的法律地位", Dangdai faxue 當代法學, 2014 (7).
Siku quanshu zongmu 四庫全書總目 (Taibei: Yiwen yinshuguan, 1963), juan 82, fol. 21b-23a (pp. 1661-1662).