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In each and every culture death is regarded as the most important event during the course of a person’s lifetime. The living were obliged to strictly follow the rules, governing the funeral and mourning rites in order to safeguard the passage of the deceased into the “other” world. On top of that, abiding regulations helped to neutralize the danger that appeared during the transit period and was a result of an interaction between life and death, it also helped society to restore its balance and to make sure it can peacefully continue its existence.Confucian culture too placed a big emphasis on the matters regarding the burial of the deceased and the following mourning after them. The “Li ji” canonical treatise, composed in the I century BC, contains a lot of various instructions regarding the mourning rites. These regulations, analyzed in the paradigm of concept of the rite of passage by A. van Gennep, allow to conclude that the mourning rite of ancient China does in general breaks down into the same stages as the other ceremonies of passage. 

Key words: rite of passage, ancient Chinese mourning rite, Confucianism, “Li ji” canonical treatise.

DOI: 10.22250/2072-8662.2019.1.67-76

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About the author


Irina B. Keidun – PhD (History), Associate Professor, Assistant Professor at the Chinese Studies Department, Amur State University;

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