Breaking News, World News and Taiwan News.

The environmental impact of traditional Chinese religion

In the thousands of years of its history, Chinese religion and culture have evolved and integrated to become what they are today: a tradition that is part of the daily life of a typical Chinese individual.

Currently, the Chinese tradition is a fusion between three primary beliefs, based on the familial and government philosophies of Confucianism, the deities of Taoism as well as the teachings of Buddhism. The three ideals have also been mixed with the natural habit of religious worship to become the religion that we commonly see in Chinese dwellings today.

With the exception of perhaps Chinese Christians, the Chinese people observe the various festive and memorial days as dictated by the Lunar calendar as well as the many taboos and superstitions that dominate the belief. Most if not all festivals require the burning of either joss sticks or paper money, with memorial days and funerals burning both along with representational items made of cardboard.

Instead of concentrating the burning of items in one area, the offerings are usually burned in large quantities by many people on different days within the span of a week. The burning tends to create large quantities of smoke and ash, which become debris that is scattered around neighborhoods, while smoke is always present as new offerings are created before the old ones can clear.

During Chinese New Year, firecrackers and joss sticks are used instead for merrier celebratory purposes. Yet during and toward the end of the festival, the smoke created either by joss sticks or firecrackers is also abundant, though not to the same level of severity as is observed during memorial festivals. Garbage created from the firecrackers is problematic even today, when the practice is widely prohibited by authorities.

Although this kind environment was acceptable in the past, with entire cities of households doing the same, it should definitely be called hazardous by today's standards.

The most obvious downside to these traditions is none other than air pollution. Molecules that are the byproducts of burning in bulk have been scientifically proven to be harmful to the planet's atmosphere. Smog is also known to be harmful to humans, especially when accompanied by smoke.

1 Comment
August 27, 2014    tim5086@
The Chinese saying "The poor favor augury, however, the rich favor worship by joss sticks" signifies that Chinese always worry about their future, any kind of accident could lead a person to be nothing, or a person giving a help hand at right time could change the coming outcome.

Nowadays, uncertain risks such as medical cost could be partly relieved by insurance. If the social security is well done, people will no longer suffer the unpredictable future.

The circumstance of the society would usher the religious practice to an appropriate way. No surprising for the step to pray by hands instead of joss sticks.
Write a Comment
CAPTCHA Code Image
Type in image code
Change the code
 Receive China Post promos
 Respond to this email
Subscribe  |   Advertise  |   RSS Feed  |   About Us  |   Career  |   Contact Us
Sitemap  |   Top Stories  |   Taiwan  |   China  |   Business  |   Asia  |   World  |   Sports  |   Life  |   Arts & Leisure  |   Health  |   Editorial  |   Commentary
Travel  |   Movies  |   TV Listings  |   Classifieds  |   Bookstore  |   Getting Around  |   Weather  |   Guide Post  |   Student Post  |   Terms of Use  |   Sitemap
  chinapost search