Community Archery Rite(鄕射禮)

Community Archery Rite

Headword

향사례 ( 鄕射禮 , Hyangsarye )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Seasonal Customs > Spring > 3rd Lunar month > Seasonal Holidays

Writer ParkKyungha(朴京夏)

Hyangsarye (Kor. 향사례, Chin. 鄕射禮, lit. community archery rite) was performed with the goal of edifying local communities in the spirit of yeak (Kor. 예악, Chin. 禮樂, lit. rites and music, liyue), an important Neo-Confucian social value. The custom originates from the Chinese Zhou dynasty during which local patriarchs held an archery competition every three years selecting young men whom they would later recommend to the king for government offices. Hyangsarye was introduced to the Korean peninsula along with hyangeumjurye (Kor. 향음주례, Chin. 鄕飮酒禮, community banquet) simultaneously with the arrival of Neo-Confucianism during the late Goryeo period (1170-1392). In spite of strong encouragement by the royal government, local communities were generally reluctant about both hyangsarye and hyangeumjurye. This reluctance mostly occurred because both rites were rather fastidious and involved complicated procedures. Thus it was easy to make a fool of oneself unless one completely familiarized himself with the procedure by attending the sessions administered by experienced officiators.

The emphasis in hyangsarye was placed neither on the art of archery, nor on an archer’s technical mastery, but rather on the education and enlightenment of the people. The goal was to instill in the people Confucian etiquette, respect for elders, and moral virtues.

Community Archery Rite

Community Archery Rite
Headword

향사례 ( 鄕射禮 , Hyangsarye )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Seasonal Customs > Spring > 3rd Lunar month > Seasonal Holidays

Writer ParkKyungha(朴京夏)

Hyangsarye (Kor. 향사례, Chin. 鄕射禮, lit. community archery rite) was performed with the goal of edifying local communities in the spirit of yeak (Kor. 예악, Chin. 禮樂, lit. rites and music, liyue), an important Neo-Confucian social value. The custom originates from the Chinese Zhou dynasty during which local patriarchs held an archery competition every three years selecting young men whom they would later recommend to the king for government offices. Hyangsarye was introduced to the Korean peninsula along with hyangeumjurye (Kor. 향음주례, Chin. 鄕飮酒禮, community banquet) simultaneously with the arrival of Neo-Confucianism during the late Goryeo period (1170-1392). In spite of strong encouragement by the royal government, local communities were generally reluctant about both hyangsarye and hyangeumjurye. This reluctance mostly occurred because both rites were rather fastidious and involved complicated procedures. Thus it was easy to make a fool of oneself unless one completely familiarized himself with the procedure by attending the sessions administered by experienced officiators.

The emphasis in hyangsarye was placed neither on the art of archery, nor on an archer’s technical mastery, but rather on the education and enlightenment of the people. The goal was to instill in the people Confucian etiquette, respect for elders, and moral virtues.