Four major family ceremonies(冠婚喪祭)

Four major family ceremonies

Headword

관혼상제 ( 冠婚喪祭 )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Rites of Passage > Korean Rites of Passage > Gwallye|Gyerye

Writer KimSiduk(金時德)

The four major family ceremonies that ordinary Korean people experience in their lifetime, the coming of age, weddings, funerals, and ancestral rites.

The term gwanhonsangje was used first in “Yegi” (禮記, The Classic of Rites). In Korea, marriage and funeral ceremonies similar to Confucian ceremonies were performed during the Three Kingdoms period, but it is not certain that people of those times had a clear concept of the four major ceremonies performed in the Confucian manner. It was thanks to ritual studies by Neo-Confucian and Silhak (實學, lit. Practical Learning) scholars during the late Joseon period that these lifetime ceremonies were fully established as Confucian events.

Of the four major ceremonies, it was the coming-of-age ceremony through which a male member of a society made the shift from the world of children to the adult world and was accepted as a responsible member of society. The ceremony of putting on an adult cap meant recognition as an adult. The marriage ceremony, the first ceremony conducted to form a new family, was regarded as the most important in a person’s life. The marriage ceremony consisted of several parts, including uihon, in which a marriage was Confucianarranged through contact between the two families concerned; napchae, in which a marriage proposal by the groom’s family was accepted by the bride’s family; and nappye, in which a wedding gift was sent from the groom’s family to the bride’s. A crisis in the family caused by the death of one of its members was overcome through the observance of strict funeral rites. Finally, the ancestral memorial rites helped Korean families to maintain a close relationship between ancestors and descendants, and harmony and order among family members.

Four major family ceremonies

Four major family ceremonies
Headword

관혼상제 ( 冠婚喪祭 )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Rites of Passage > Korean Rites of Passage > Gwallye|Gyerye

Writer KimSiduk(金時德)

The four major family ceremonies that ordinary Korean people experience in their lifetime, the coming of age, weddings, funerals, and ancestral rites.

The term gwanhonsangje was used first in “Yegi” (禮記, The Classic of Rites). In Korea, marriage and funeral ceremonies similar to Confucian ceremonies were performed during the Three Kingdoms period, but it is not certain that people of those times had a clear concept of the four major ceremonies performed in the Confucian manner. It was thanks to ritual studies by Neo-Confucian and Silhak (實學, lit. Practical Learning) scholars during the late Joseon period that these lifetime ceremonies were fully established as Confucian events.

Of the four major ceremonies, it was the coming-of-age ceremony through which a male member of a society made the shift from the world of children to the adult world and was accepted as a responsible member of society. The ceremony of putting on an adult cap meant recognition as an adult. The marriage ceremony, the first ceremony conducted to form a new family, was regarded as the most important in a person’s life. The marriage ceremony consisted of several parts, including uihon, in which a marriage was Confucianarranged through contact between the two families concerned; napchae, in which a marriage proposal by the groom’s family was accepted by the bride’s family; and nappye, in which a wedding gift was sent from the groom’s family to the bride’s. A crisis in the family caused by the death of one of its members was overcome through the observance of strict funeral rites. Finally, the ancestral memorial rites helped Korean families to maintain a close relationship between ancestors and descendants, and harmony and order among family members.