Grand Celebration for the Emperor of the Nine Levels of Heaven
九皇会 / 罗天大醮 祈福庆典
October 6 – 19, 2018
We have been invited back to Qing Cheng to participate in a very auspicious event celebrating the Emperor of the Nine Levels of Heaven. You are invited to join us.
This event is being sponsored to make it affordable for international Daoists to attend, and many of the attendees costs will be covered by the sponsoring associations.
During the celebration, there will be Blessing Rituals taking place which will focus upon the protection of humanity, fostering virtue, and promoting peace. Of the 13 active altars, one of them has been dedicated to the United States
The Nine Emperor Festival last for 9 days beginning on the eve of 9th lunar month of the Chinese calendar. Devotees turn vegetarian in order to purify their bodies during this period to achieve ritual cleansing. Devotees pray for blessings during this time, and ask for assistance in dispelling misfortunes and bad luck.
The festival begins on the last day of the eighth lunar month with the raising of the Jiu Qu Deng (九曲灯), which refers to the “nine wicks in oil lamp”. The lamp is raised to invite divinities to the temple grounds in celebration of the festival. It will stay lit throughout the nine days as a sign of continuous divine presence.
The welcome ritual is usually held the following day, the first day of the ninth lunar month. A street procession begins at the temple and proceeds to a nearby river or sea. There the gods are invited to join in the ritual.
At the river, the priest invokes the spirits of the Nine Emperor Gods and invites them to descend into the urn. When the sacred ashes in the urn burn vigorously, it is a sign that the gods have arrived. The urn is then carried back to the temple and kept in a private place from public view.
During the nine days, worshippers visit the temple with offerings to ask for the blessing of the Jiu Huang Ye. A bridge-crossing purification ritual takes place during this time. In this special ceremony, participants receive charms, yellow threads or a Jiu Huang Ye seal stamped on their clothing in order to ward off the evils of the past year.
Sending Off Ritual
The ninth day of the festival is its climax. Scores of devotees form a procession to help send the deities back home.
Many devotees turn up for the final prayer and journey together to the beach or waterway. Included in this entourage is a dragon boat made of paper that will be alighted and set adrift, dramatically symbolizing the dispersal of bad luck and misfortune.
The festival officially ends with the lowering of the Jiu Qu Den (九曲灯) on the tenth day. This is followed by the ending of the vegetarian ritual, and meat dishes are laid out to thank the heaven guards. These dishes are later shared among worshippers to signify the ending of the fast.
Qing Cheng Shan
Qing Cheng Shan is a famous Daoist mountain in Sichuan province. Many famous Daoists have cultivated at Qing Cheng Shan. Zhang Dao Ling, the founder of religious Daoism, spent many years on the mountain before moving to Long Hu Shan. Wang Chong Yang, the founder of Northern Daoism (Quan Zhen) established the monastery in 1200 A.D. and remained as the resident Abbot until his death. Also, the Immortal, Lu Dong Bin, achieved the “Dao” and became an Immortal while meditating in the Immortal’s Cave at Qing Cheng Shan.
Known for its lush green environment, the mountain exudes a profound sense of yin. If you open yourself to the mountain, you may forever be changed. People have said training at Qing Cheng Shan is a “journey of the heart”.
This event is being organized and sponsored by:
• The China Daoist Association
• The Mount Qingcheng Daoist Association
• The United States Daoist Association
These organizations are all helping to offset the costs so that many international Daoists can attend. Sponsors will be covering the cost of accommodations, food and domestic travel within China. Attendees will only be required to pay a $450 registration fee to attend.