Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

Chinese History

Posted by w_thames_the_d on December 22, 2010

More from my Kindle

“The Civilization of China (Herbert Allen Giles)
– Highlight Loc. 319-23 | Added on Saturday, October 16, 2010, 08:50 AM

There are many other striking features of the Penal Code. No marriage, for instance, may be contracted during the period of mourning for parents, which in theory extends to three full years, but in practice is reckoned at twenty-seven months; neither may musical instruments be played by near relatives of the dead. During the same period, no mandarin may hold office, but must retire into private life; though the observance of this rule is often dispensed with in the case of high officials whose presence at their posts may be of considerable importance. In such cases, by special grace of the emperor, the period of retirement is cut down to three months, or even to one.
The Civilization of China (Herbert Allen Giles)
– Highlight Loc. 324-28 | Added on Saturday, October 16, 2010, 08:51 AM

The death of an emperor is followed by a long spell of national tribulation. For one hundred days no man may have his head shaved, and no woman may wear head ornaments. For twelve months there may be no marrying or giving in marriage among the official classes, a term which is reduced to one hundred days for the public at large. The theatres are supposed to remain closed for a year, but in practice they shut only for one hundred days. Even thus great hardships are entailed upon many classes of the community, especially upon actors and barbers, who might be in danger of actual starvation but for the common-sense of their rulers coupled with the common rice-pot at home.

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