Holding ancestral rites and showing hospitality to guests
Confucian virtue of holding ancestral memorial rites and showing hospitality to guests.
The head family of a clan typically held more than twelve ancestral memorial rites in a year to fulfill their duty of sadaebongsa (Kor. 사대봉사, Chin. 四代奉祀, lit. conducting memorial rites for the four latest generations of ancestors), including gijesa (Kor. 기제사, Chin. 忌祭祀, memorial rite for ancestors on their death anniversary), myoje (Kor. 묘제, Chin. 墓祭, memorial service held at the grave of an ancestor) and charye (Kor. 차례, Chin. 茶禮, memorial rite on major seasonal holidays). Each of these rites was conducted with the participation of a large group of relatives, and feeding and entertaining them was a large task to fulfill. Therefore, the head families prepared bongsajo (Kor. 봉사조, Chin. 奉祀條, lit. legal provisions on the ancestral memorial rites) in an effort to cope with the financial burden imposed by the rites. According to the legal provisions, which covered inheritance of properties in connection with financial support for the rites to take care of the deceased ancestors, the head family inherited land and slaves. As the family that inherited the duty of honoring the ancestors with annual memorial rites, it was entitled to maintain and use the income made through the property, but not to dispose of it.
The head family took utmost care in receiving guests according to the rules of propriety. In this, the role of jongbu (Kor. 종부, Chin. 宗婦, wife of the male heir of the head family of a clan) was particularly important, and many jongbu regarded the rites as their lifetime duty. For ordinary families with financial constraints, it was necessary to plan carefully not only for the rites but also other occasions when they had to receive guests by separately putting away rice and other food that could be kept in storage for a long time.