Five Classics‎ > ‎THE I-LI‎ > ‎



1. The Pledging of the Graduand. 

(a) A MAT is spread to the west of the room door. 

(b) The assistant washes his hands, and a cup also in the chamber, and ladling into it from the single wine-holder a cupful of must,1 places a spoon on the cup, with its bowl to the front. 

(c) The guest then salutes, and the graduate goes up to the mat and stands on the west side of it with his face to the south. The guest at the east of the door receives the must and presents it, the ladle handle foremost, standing in front of the mat, with his face to the north. 

(d) The graduate, standing to the west of the mat, bows and accepts the goblet ; and the guest, with his face eastward, returns the bow. 

(e) The assistant to the graduate then brings forward the relishes, dried flesh and hash. 

(f) The graduate goes to the mat and sits down. With his left hand he grasps the goblet, while with his right, dipping a piece of the dried flesh into the hash, he makes an offering of the relishes. 2 Then he pours three libations of the must, using the spoon for the purpose, and gets up. Going to the end of the mat, he seats himself and tastes the must, puts the spoon into it, and, getting up, steps off the mat, sits down, lays 

down the goblet, and bows. He then takes the goblet and rises. The guest bows in return, whereupon the graduate lays down the goblet to the east of the relishes. 

2. Visiting the Mother. 

(a) The graduate then leaves his mat, and, facing north, sits down, takes the dried flesh, descends the west steps, and goes to the eastern outer wall, where, facing north, he presents himself before his mother. 

(b) The mother bows on receiving the flesh, the son bowing as he invites her to accept it, the mother bowing once more. 

3. Giving the "Style.'' 3 

(a) The guest then goes down the west steps, and takes his place in line with the western inner wall, facing east. The Master of Ceremonies goes down the eastern steps and returns to his former place. 

(b) The graduate stands to the east of the western steps with his face to the south, and the guest calls him by his Style, the graduate responding suitably. 

4. The Guest leaves, and goes to the Robing-Tent. 

(a) When the guest leaves, the Master of Ceremonies accompanies him beyond the door of the temple. 

(b) The Master of Ceremonies offers a cup of must to the guest, who excuses himself, but finally accepts, and then goes to the robing-tent. 

5. Visiting the Relations, Male and Female. 

(a) When the graduate visits his male relations, these bow twice, and he returns their bows. When he visits those who assisted at the ceremony he bows with his face to the west, in the same fashion. 

(b) When he goes into the side apartments to visit his aunts and elder sisters he uses the same forms as when visiting his mother. 

6. Visiting the Rulev, Ministers, Great Officers, and Retired Officials of his District. 

He then changes his clothes, puts on the black hat, black square-clothes, and russet knee-caps, lays a present of a pheasant before the palace, and asks permission to visit the Ruler. Thereafter he takes a present and visits the ministers and retired officials. 

7. Pledging the Guests. 

(a) The Master of Ceremonies then pledges the principal guest with a single offering of the cup. 

(b) When the Master of Ceremonies gives the parting cup to the guest, he accompanies it with a bundle of silk and a pair of skins. 

(c) Those who assisted at the ceremony all drink at this time, but the assistants of the graduate are treated as ordinary attendants, and nothing more. 

(d) When the guests are leaving, the Master of Ceremonies accompanies them to the outside of the 
outer gate and bows twice. Thereafter returning the 
meat-stand belonging to the principal guest. 

8. The Pledging. 

(a) If must is not used in the State at this ceremony, then wine is employed at the pledging. 

(b) The wine - holders are placed between the chamber and the door of the room, consisting of two jars on a stand, that with the " Dark Wine " being on the west, and each with a ladle on top, its handle pointing south. 

(c) Alongside the used-water jar is a cup-basket, on the west of it, facing squarely south. 

(d) At the first capping dried flesh and hash are served. The guest goes down the west steps, and taking a cup from the basket, washes it ; the declining of the honour being as before, he finishes the washing, goes up the steps, and fills the cup. 

(e) The graduate bows as he receives the cup, the guest bowing in reply as before. 

(f) The graduate goes on to his mat and sits down. Holding the cup in his left hand, he makes an offering of the dried meat and hash, offers the wine, rises, sits at the end of his mat, and tastes the wine. He leaves his mat and bows, the guest bowing in reply. Thereupon the graduate lays down the cup to the east of the relishes, and takes his stand to the west of the mat. 

(g) The relishes and the cup are removed, but not the wine-holder or the mat. 

(h) At the putting on of the skin cap the ceremonial is as before ; but at the second drinking fresh wine is used, the rest being as before. 

(i) At the putting on of the russet cap the ceremonial is as before, and at the third drinking they have a stand of disjointed dry meat,' 5 which is tasted, the rest being as before. 

(J) Then the graduate faces north, and, taking the dried flesh, goes to see his mother. 

9. When an Animal is Slaughtered. 

(a) If an animal is slaughtered for the occasion, it is a single sucking-pig, whose whole carcass, after division, is placed on the stand. The lung, 6 cut lengthwise, is placed with the pork in the tripod, and the carryingpole and the cover are set out. 


(b) For the first drinking the arrangements are as before. 

(c) For the second drinking they set out a pair of wooden holders containing pickled mallows and snail-hash, and a pair of splint-stands with chestnuts and dried flesh. 

(d) For the third drinking the wine is changed as for the second drinking. The setting of the meat-stand and the tasting are as before, the part tasted being the lung. 

(e) When the pledging is finished, the taking by the graduate of the sprint-holder of dried flesh and his going down to visit his mother are as before. 

10. The Capping of an Orphan. 

(a) If the graduand is an orphan, the apprising and bidding of the guests are done by one of his uncles or an elder brother. 

(b) On the day of the capping, the graduand, as Master of Ceremonies, dresses in coloured clothes, and with hair tied up, goes to meet the guests. The bowings, saluting, and his standing at the end of the east wall, are done as the Master of Ceremonies would do them in ordinary circumstances, and the ceremony proper is carried out at the top of the eastern steps. 

(c) The bowings by the graduand are performed at the top of the eastern steps, with his face to the north. The guest at the head of the western steps bows, facing north. 

(d) If there is an animal slain, the tripod is taken from the storehouse and set outside the temple door, near the wall of the eastern gatehouse, and facing north. 


11. The Capping of a Concubine's Son. 

If the graduand is the son of a concubine, he is capped outside the chamber, with his face to the south, and the pledging follows in the same place. 

12. In the Event of the Mother not being available.' 7 

In the event of the mother not being available, someone is sent to receive the dried flesh for her below the western steps. 

13. The Form for Apprising the Guests. 

(a) In apprising the principal guest the Master of Ceremonies says : " I, So-and-so, have a son, So-and-so, who is about to be endued with the black cloth cap, and I hope that your honour will teach him by conducting this ceremony." 

(b) To this the guest replies : " I am not clever, and I fear that through not being able to manage affairs, I shall bring disgrace on your honour. I venture to decline." 

(c) The Master of Ceremonies replies : " I still hope that your honour will give him the benefit of your exalted instruction." Whereupon the guest replies : " Since your honour has repeated his commands, dare I do other than consent ?" 

14. The Form for Bidding the Principal Guest. In bidding the guest selected to perform the capping ceremony, the Master of Ceremonies says : " I, So-and- so, am about to endue So-and-so with the cloth cap, and hope that your honour v/ill be present. I venture to bid you to be the principal guest on the occasion." The reply is : " Can I do other than rise early on that morning ?" 


15. The Blessings at the Cuppings. 

(a) At the first capping the blessing runs : " In this auspicious month, and on this hicky day, we endue you with the headgear for the first time. Put from you your childish thoughts, and see that you keep guard upon the virtues of your manhood. Then shall your years all be fair, and your good fortune grow from more to more." 

(b) At the second capping it runs : " In this lucky month, at this auspicious hour, we add to your garments. Guard reverently your demeanour, preserve the integrity of your virtue. Then will your years be without end, and good luck attend you for ever and ever." 

(c) At the third capping it runs : '' In this best of years, and most auspicious of months, we complete the tale of your robes. Your kinsmen are all here to perfect this virtuous act. May your years be age long, and Heaven's blessing attend you." 

16. The Blessing when the Must is Drunk. 

When the must is drunk, the blessing runs thus: " Sweet must and strong, good meats, fine flavours. Take them reverently and offer them that you may confirm your good fortune, and receive the blessing of Heaven, and life everlasting." 

17. The Blessing at the Pledging. 

(a) For the first cup it runs : " Fine wine and clear, good food, right time. As we first put on your head-gear your kinsmen are all here. Filial piety and brother love are at their best. See that you keep them so." 


(b) At the second cup it runs : " Fine wine well cleared; good relish and dried flesh. We add to your robes, for the rites have their order. Pour out your libation from this noble cup, and may Heaven's blessing be yours." 

(c) At the third drinking it runs : " Fine wine, good flavours, holders of splint and wood decked for the feast. We complete the tale of your robes. The meat is divided and laid on the stand. May Heaven's blessing attend you, and happiness beyond all bound." 

18. The Blessing at the Giving of the " Style.'" 

At the giving of the Style the blessing runs thus : " Now that the ceremony is complete, I announce your Style in this auspicious month, and on this lucky day. May that Style become greatly honoured, and may you attain to eminence, holding fast to what is right, for right leads to happiness. May you receive and ever hold this gift." Then he addresses him as eldest son of such and such a Style. If second, third, or youngest son, the appropriate character is used according to his status. 

19. Regarding Shoes 

(a) With regard to shoes : In spring and summer they use bean fibre cloth. Black shoes go with the black square-clothes. The broad toes, binding, and selvedge are all purple, the selvedge being an inch wide. 

(b) With the white surcingle white shoes are worn, whitened with frog-lime. The toes, binding, and selvedge are black, this last being an inch broad. 

(c) With the russet cap crimson shoes are worn with black toes, binding, and selvedge, the last being an inch broad. 


(d) In the autumn and winter leather shoes are allowed. 

(e) Shoes of undressed coarse cloth 8 are not recognized as suitable for such occasions. 

20. Four Notes. 

(i) The Idea Underlying the Use of the Black Cloth Hat. 

The hat used at the first capping is of dark silk, In the remotest antiquity 9 undyed cloth was worn as a head-dress, and they dyed it for use when fasting before a sacrifice. As to the lappets, Confucius said : " I have never heard of them as worn by the ancients. If you wear the hat, you may dispense with the lappets." 10 

(2) The Capping of the Heir. 

The heir is capped at the head of the eastern steps to make clear the fact that he is to succeed his father. He is offered the wine in a guest's place to express the honour of his having attained the status of a man. The three cappings are of a progressive stateliness, being intended to intensify the feelings with regard to the significance of the ceremony. The giving of the Style 11 following upon the capping is meant to keep in honour the name he got from his parents. 

(3) A Comparison between the Hats in Use under the Three Dynasties. 

(a) The Sui-mao 12 (that which gives dignity to the appearance) was the fashion of the Chou dynasty. The Chang-fu (that v/hich shows the respectable man) was used under the Yiin dynasty. The Wu-chui' 13 was the hat of the Hsia dynasty. 

(b) Under the Chou dynasty the russet cap was called Pien (bright and great). Under the Yun it was 


called Hsu (the coverer). Under the Hsia dynasty it was called the Hsiu (the gatherer up of the hair). 

(c) Under all three dynasties they used the white deer-skin cap and white surcingle. 

(4) The Capping of a Great Officer. 14 

(a) There is no ceremony for the capping of a great officer, although the ceremonial for his marriage is on record, because in ancient times a man was not pre- ferred to this office until he reached fifty. That being so, how could there be the capping of