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Jing-Chu suishi ji 荊楚歲時記

Oct 22, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald

Jing-Chu suishi ji 荊楚歲時記 "Festivals and seasonal customs of the Jing-Chu region" is a description of habits, customs and festivities through the year in the southern region of Jing or Chu (modern Hubei and Hunan). It was written by Zong Lin 宗懍 (502-565), courtesy name Yuanlin 元懔, during the Liang period 梁 (502-557).

In 37, paragraphs Zong Lin describes annual festivals in short, and adds commentaries to the origin as seen from different literary sources. Some festivals can be traced back to historical events or persons, some to agricultural activities, others to the veneration of deities or ancestors; irregular festivities are related to diseases and their curing, marriage and childbirth, dances and bodily acitivities, or the expelling of evil spirits.

The original text, with a length of between 4 and 10 juan, is lost and had to be reconstruced from quotations in other books, like the encyclopaedias Yiwen leiju 藝文類聚 and Taiping yulan 太平御覽.

In 1982 the Jing-Chu suishi ji was republished by the Hubei Renmin Press 湖北人民出版社.

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