Royal ancestral ritual in the Jongmyo shrine and its music

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The Jongmyo Shrine in Seoul is the setting for a Confucian ritual dedicated to the ancestors of the Joseon dynasty (14th to the 19th century) that encompasses song, dance and music. The ritual is practised once a year on the first Sunday in May and is organized by the descendants of the royal family. It offers a unique example of a Confucian ritual, which is no longer celebrated in China. The tradition is inspired by classical Chinese texts concerning the cult of ancestors and the notion of filial piety. It also includes a prayer for the eternal peace of the ancestors’ spirits in a shrine conceived as their spiritual resting place.

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The Jongmyo Shrine in Seoul is the setting for a Confucian ritual dedicated to the ancestors of the Joseon dynasty (14th to the 19th century) that encompasses song, dance and music. The ritual is practised once a year on the first Sunday in May and is organized by the...

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