The religious ritual of Feng Shan at Mount Tai. [File photo]
Feng Shan is a kind of religious ritual that was conducted by China's ancient emperors on Mount Tai in Shandong province and Mount Song in Henan province. Mount Tai bore witness to the most ceremonies.
China's ancient people regarded Mount Tai as a symbol of heaven which is why Mount Tai became the place where ancient emperors held Feng Shan to receive orders and blessings from heaven and earth.
According to Zheng Yi in Records of the Historian - Feng Shan, written by Zhang ShouJie, Feng was to build altar using soil on the summit of Mount Tai to report to the god of heaven on the merits of the emperor and announce the legitimacy of his reign. Shan was the clearing of the land on a hill at the foot of the mountain to express gratitude to the god of earth.
By holding Feng Shan, emperors believe they can mediate between heaven and earth and humans to help their rules go smoothly.
According to the Records of the Historian- Feng Shan, 72 tribe leaders were said to have paid homage to Mount Tai under the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC). Details of the rituals were seldom recorded for posterity.
Feng Shan developed into a solemn ceremony during the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC) and evolved into regular activities held by both officials and common people to pay homage to the God and Goddess of Mount Tai after the Song Dynasty (960-1279) took power.
Editor: Xie Fang
Source: Information Office of the Tai'an People's Government