There are certain traditions and rites that you’ll always find among people from different walks of life. This is true and touches on things such as marriages, death and funeral among others.
If you’d want to understand the Taoists or you’re living among them, knowing the things you should avoid after the Taoist funeral is important so you can respect their culture and live harmoniously with them.
A brief introduction to Taoism
Taoism is a philosophical system that was developed by chuang-tzu and Lao-tzu. This system advocates for a life of absolute naturalness and simplicity, without interference with courses of natural events. This is to help attain a happy life in sync with the Tao.
The religion and philosophy whose origin is China has been in existence for more than 2000 years. The attitude of Taoists towards life is characterized by yielding and accepting, and this complements the duty-conscious and moral purposeful character in life.
As a culture, Taoists have a special view towards death, which they describe as a “release from the corpse” or Shijie. Taoists do believe in eternal life and consider death as just another chapter in one’s life.
Before death, it is good to prepare for any eventuality especially to help ease the pain and the burden that comes with the mourning period. Taoist funerals in Singapore can help prepare for the tough times based on your dialect group. With these services taken care of, you can mourn your loved ones in peace.
Just like all other cultures, Taoism has some dos and don’ts during and after the funeral. We shall discuss 5 things you should avoid after a Taoist funeral based on the respected cultural masters. These include the following:-
1. Trimming hair and nails
The children or grandchildren of the deceased should avoid trimming their nails and/or hair for at least 49 days after the funeral has been conducted.
Generally, this emanates from the belief that nails and hair were given to the children by the deceased as a parent and as such they shouldn’t be trimmed during the mourning period and after the burial. At least you should wait for 49 days.
2. Avoid visiting friends and relatives
The second thing a Taoist should avoid after the funeral is visiting friends and relatives. This also is restricted to a period of 49 days after the burial, as this is the typical mourning period.
Instead, Taoists are encouraged to spend this time reflecting on their life while allowing their emotions to calm down following the moment of loss.
During this period, the relatives of the departed are encouraged to offer weekly or fortnightly offerings before the designated spiritual tablet as a way of appreciation and in memory of their departed relative.
3. Refrain from entertainment
After the funeral, the family and close relatives to the deceased are supposed to refrain from entertainment and merry-making. This is a basic rule that should be adhered to during such times and events.
A period of 49 days is prescribed for this as a way of showing respect to the departed family member. During the mourning period, you may also have to refrain from attending joyous occasions such as weddings and new birth celebrations.
4. Don’t wear bright colors
Wearing bright colored clothes is also to be avoided during the period of mourning. The period for this restriction could vary from one dialect to the other. In some places, Taoists should wear white clothes for a period of 7 days after which they could switch to red ones.
However, others do restrict the wearing of colored clothes for a period of 100 days for the immediate family and close relatives.
5. Marry during the mourning period
Before a period of 6 months is over, the sons of the deceased shouldn’t marry especially if the deceased was any of their parents. If a wedding had been planned prior to the death of a parent, it should be postponed to the next year to allow for a time of mourning.
In addition, there are other things you should avoid such as keeping a funeral after the burial. Instead, these should be burnt. Just as the dead person’s clothes should be burnt, everyone else should have theirs disposed of through fire.
While you may not be a Taoist, understanding some of these requirements could be necessary even though they’re not in place for you to practice.
They’ll help you live with your neighbors harmoniously as you show some respect to their culture and way of life, especially during difficult moments.
At some point, being part of the Taoist funeral could see you participate in some of the rituals including the burning of joss paper commonly known as ghost money. All this is done with a focus more on life than death and it’d be good to understand the process so you don’t offend.