It is another year of the Double Ninth Festival, and the chrysanthemums in the autumn light are exceptionally brilliant.

Respect for the elderly is the core spirit of the Double Ninth Festival. It is derived from the high regard for the family and the profound tradition of ancestor worship. The Chinese regard respecting the elderly as a fundamental virtue of human beings. From a national perspective, the respect for the elderly has been regarded as governing the country in all dynasties. In an important aspect, some measures to respect the elderly have been implemented in the hope that the elderly will be materially adequate and mentally happy.

  Dove rod is an honor for the elderly

  In the 1950s, archaeologists discovered a wooden dove stick at the Mozuizi Han Tomb in Wuwei, Gansu, which is now in the Gansu Museum.

This wooden dove rod is 196.5 cm high, with a long and slender rod, and a painted dove on the top of the rod.

In other museums, we can also see the head of the dove stick of the Han Dynasty, and some doves still have food grains in their mouth. This wooden dove stick has been well preserved after thousands of years, which is very rare.

  The dove stick in the Han Dynasty was not an ordinary walking stick, but an honor awarded to the Nian Gao De Shao by the court. It was a symbol of status.

The old man holding a two-meter-high dove stick in public places can make everyone notice that the old man should greet the old man with etiquette and pay attention to his words and deeds when approaching.

  So why use the dove as the decoration of the walking stick instead of other animals?

There is a quite legendary story in a work on social customs history written by Ying Shao in the Eastern Han Dynasty: Liu Bang and Xiang Yu fought in Xingyang. Xiang Yu's offensive was fierce, and Liu Bang retreated steadily. He hid in the grass and came to catch up. When people approached Liu Bang, they suddenly heard the sound of a dove. The chasers probably thought that someone would startle the bird away, indicating that there must be no one in front of him, so he turned around and left, and Liu Bang escaped.

After Liu Bang won the battle between Chu and Han, he thought that the dove was an extraordinary bird, so he ordered someone to make a dove stick and give it to the old man.

  In fact, Dove has a deep cultural connotation. In "Zhou Li·Xia Guan", an official position called "Luo Shi" is recorded. It is responsible for collecting birds and birds. The second month of each spring is the "mid spring". , Roche wanted to "Luo Chunniao, donate doves to support the country's old age", it can be seen that "donate doves for the elderly" is a tradition.

In the minds of the ancients, the dove was regarded as an animal that would not choke when eating. Therefore, giving the old man a dove stick also included the wish for the old man to eat smoothly.

  A batch of Han slips related to the dove stick were also unearthed in the tomb of Mozuizi Han in Wuwei.

The dove rod was also called the king rod. At one time, the court only gave dove rods to elders over 80, but people's lifespan was much shorter than today. Therefore, the old people who were adjusted to the age of 70 or above can be given the dove rod. Dove stick, this way can better express the imperial court's meaning of respecting the elderly.

  The gift of the dove rod means that a series of courtesy and preferential treatments are obtained at the same time. For example, you can freely enter and exit the government, and you don't need to walk quickly when you see the governor. If you can walk in the middle of the road, if there is no special permission from the court, ordinary people. They can’t walk; if they are exempted from duty and labor for life, they can also enjoy the right to tax exemption when doing business in the market.

The elder who is given a dove stick even enjoys a considerable degree of judicial immunity, while insulting or beating the elder who is given a dove stick will be guilty of injustice.

  The tradition of giving dove sticks to old people can still be seen until the Qing Dynasty. We will talk about this later.

Scholars have different opinions on whether dove sticks in the Han Dynasty will be issued to all elders over 70. Some scholars believe that it is only selectively issued to some of them, that is, the "three elders". Then the "three elders" in the Han dynasty are also who?

  Three elders were set up in the Han Dynasty to mediate civil disputes

  In the Confucian philosophy of governing the country, although punishment is indispensable to standardize social order, punishment is a measure after an event occurs. Confucianism advocates a state of "no litigation" governance, and believes that education precedes punishment and that education is forbidden. Before things happen, enlightenment can make people perceive and expand the natural heart of benevolence.

  In Chinese history, all dynasties and dynasties have attached great importance to the merits of education and advocated "ruling the world with filial piety".

Filial piety is the natural feelings of children towards their parents, and it flows from the blood.

Investigating the origin of the word "filial piety", there is the word "filial piety" in the oracle bone inscriptions, which looks like a child walking by the hand of an old man, and helping the old is filial piety.

Although the old people are not as good as young people physically, they are more abundant in experience and wisdom than young people. Especially in an era when knowledge and technology are slow to update, the experience and wisdom of the old people are a precious asset.

  In the Han Dynasty, the state set up the "Three Elders" to promote education and assist local officials in handling some government affairs.

In 205 BC, Liu Bang issued an edict to establish the three-elder system. At this time, Liu Bang had not yet defeated Xiang Yu, and the world had not yet stabilized. He ordered the selection of an old man over fifty years old, virtuous, and capable of leadership in each township. The three elders, and then choose one from the township three elders to be the county elders, who can discuss political affairs with the county magistrate and other officials in the county government.

On top of the county elders, there are also the county elders and the country elders.

The three elders have the right to be exempt from corvette, and sometimes the court also grants meat and wine.

Fifty-year-old is certainly not an old man today, but it can be called an old man in the Han Dynasty.

  It should be noted that the three elders can easily be misunderstood as the three elders. In fact, the "three" of the three elders means that the elders are familiar with the things of heaven, earth, and people.

In the Han dynasty, the local society was second to the three elders last time, and the fifth watch was also selected from the young Gaode Shao. It was not the five elders, but the elders who knew the changes of the five elements.

The imperial court set up three and five watchmen, "The emperor is raised by his father and brother to show the world's filial piety."

  There is a story recorded in the Book of Han. When Han Yanshou, a famous official in the Western Han Dynasty, traveled to Gaoling County under the rule of Zuo Fengyi (the three positions of Zuo Fengyi, Jing Zhaoyin, and You Fufeng were set up to manage the Gyeonggi area in the Han Dynasty). There was a pair of brothers who were in court because they were fighting for land. Han Yanshou regretted that he did not play a role model, which caused such a traumatic incident to happen under the rule.

When he returned to the post, he didn't see anyone and thought about it.

The Gaoling County magistrate, the third elders and others also deeply regretted that they had not done their work well, so they tied themselves up and came to the post house to wait for Han Yanshou's punishment.

The two brothers were condemned by the clan members one after another, and they were also very remorseful and willing to reconcile.

After Han Yanshou heard this, he opened the door of the post house and happily invited the two brothers and others to eat together.

This story shows that one of the important duties of the three elders is to resolve disputes with the status and wisdom of the elders, and to avoid expanding the disputes into litigation. If the disputes cannot be resolved, the three elders will also be punished.

  The Qing Dynasty held a thousand old banquet to entertain the elderly

  Although the institutionalized three elders in counties and townships ceased to exist after the Han Dynasty, the tradition of appointing elders to promote education continued until the Ming and Qing dynasties.

  In the early Ming Dynasty, in view of the great changes in traditional etiquette and customs in the Yuan Dynasty, the imperial court initiated a reform of etiquette and customs throughout the urban and rural areas, with the intention of correcting the old drawbacks and pursuing people's hearts.

In 1398, Zhu Yuanzhang formally issued "Jiaomin Bangwen", which is an important document of the reform of etiquette and customs in the early Ming Dynasty, and the role of the elderly in this reform is very crucial.

  The "Jiaomin Bangwen" stipulates that a group of elderly people who are over fifty, have integrity and respectable conduct should be selected from the grassroots organization "li" (the ideal state is 110 households as one li), the number or three For one or five or ten, the government will register the name of the old man in the register.

These selected elders are given the heavy responsibility of handling some civil lawsuits. The "Jiaomin Banwen" clearly prohibits people from leapfrogging lawsuits. Some disputes that occur frequently in grassroots society, such as fighting and fighting for land, must first go through the mediation of the elders. If the settlement is unsuccessful, then you have to go to the official lawsuit, go directly to the official without the elder's mediation, the plaintiff will be punished, and still have to go back to the elder's mediation.

  So, where does the old man handle these disputes?

Since the old man is not an official, he certainly cannot handle disputes in government courts.

Under the strong promotion of Zhu Yuanzhang, "declaration pavilions" were widely built in urban and rural areas in the early Ming Dynasty. Almost every township was installed in every li, and some have been preserved to this day.

The declaration pavilion is a place for the elderly to openly handle disputes, and anyone who wants to come and listen.

Shenming Pavilion is also a place where people can learn about the imperial court's decree.

The Shenming Pavilion also has the function of punishment. The names of those who are not filial and unrighteous in the village will be written in the Shenming Pavilion, so that they will know their shame and change.

There are punishments and praises. In the early Ming Dynasty, a larger Jingshan Pavilion was generally built next to the Declaration Pavilion, and the names of those who had good deeds that could be a role model for others were written in the pavilion.

  The "Jiaomin Bangwen" also requires Geli to strengthen the propaganda of enlightenment, and for this reason, Geli must choose an "Muduo old man".

Muduo is very similar to a bell. The wooden tongue in the bell is the Muduo and the bronze tongue is the Jinduo. The ancients have said that "the wooden duo for writing and the golden duo for military affairs".

The old man Mu Duo walked the streets and alleys, shaking Mu Duo to make a sound to attract everyone's attention, while reciting the edict aloud: "Be filial to your parents, respect your ancestors, and live in harmony in the village, teach your children and grandchildren, keep your own physiology, and don't do anything wrong." The old people of Mu Duo are generally poor and need help from the people in the village. Some old Mu Duo are blind and ask their children to lead the streets.

  In the Ming and Qing Dynasties, the traditional measures of respect for the elderly continued, and there were refreshing innovations. Among them, the Thousand Sovereign Banquet held in the Qing Dynasty became a good story in history.

The Qing Dynasty was a crucial era in the history of China's population. Emperor Kangxi declared in 1712 that "the prosperity of the world will help you, and you will never add money." The population has grown rapidly, and the average life expectancy has also been extended.

During the reign of the two longevity emperors Kangxi and Qianlong, four thousand old banquets were held, two times for Emperor Kangxi and two times for Emperor Qianlong.

  1785 marks the fiftieth anniversary of Emperor Qianlong's ascension to the throne. He has already achieved impressive results in Wenzhi martial arts.

On the sixth day of the first lunar month of this year, Emperor Qianlong invited more than 3,000 elders over 60 years old to the Qianqing Palace in the Forbidden City for a banquet.

The Forbidden City is divided into the front dynasty and the back sleeping quarters. The former dynasty is the place where the emperor handles political affairs. The back sleeping quarters are the emperor’s home. The Qianqing Palace is already within the scope of the back sleeping quarters. It is a great honor.

At the banquet, in addition to offering delicacies to the elderly, there were also cultural activities to compose poetry.

The emperor also presented gifts such as longevity sticks and wishful thinking to the elders. It is worth mentioning that the imperial court specially made a silver medal for the "Imperial Endowment for the Elderly" for this thousand old banquet.

The Thousand Seniors Banquet is not only to promote the peace and prosperity of the country, but also to continue the historical tradition of respecting the elderly and the virtuous.

  The ancients said: "Old and old as well as people." In ancient society, "old and old" is a person's internal affair, "and people's old" most of the time is a lofty ideal, although there are some worthy of attention Try, but it's hard to last.

Today, relying on the improvement of the social security system, the "old and old and the old" can be implemented, and the smiles of the elderly can be as bright as a chrysanthemum.


  Chen Yuzhi

Keywords: respect, man, dove stick, elders, honor, symbol, tradition, dynasties, qing dynasty, dove, regard, elderly, han dynasty, han yanshou, people