Drinking bouts and exorcism ceremonies

鄉人飲酒,杖者出,斯出矣。
When the villagers were drinking together, he didn’t leave until the elders had departed.

鄉人儺,朝服而立於阼階。
When the villagers carried out an exorcism ceremony, he put on his court dress and stood on the eastern steps.

I’m assuming that these two chapters are describing how Confucius conducted himself in his home village.

In the first one, he shows respect to the elders (literally, “those with staffs”), by waiting for them to go before heading off home himself. In the second, he shows respect for a popular folk religious ceremony held every year to drive out evil spirits from the village by donning his court robes.

I can’t help thinking that this must have been a lot more fun than the conventional Zhou Dynasty rituals favored by Confucius!

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