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Ancestor Workship

The Chinese people believe that a person has two souls. The first soul is created during conception and continues to stay in the grave with the corpse when the person dies. Hence, ancestor worship is very important. Sacrificial offerings are made frequently to please the soul until it moves on to the underworld when the corpse has finally decomposed. If offerings are not given, the soul will return to earth as a vile spirit.

The other soul is borne at birth. This soul also depends heavily on sacrifices and prayers of the living descendants to avoid becoming an evil spirit during its heavenly voyage. Sacrificial offerings benefit both the dead and the living. The amount of expiation given will determine the nature of the dead spirit, and in return, the soul of the deceased ancestor may offer the descendants help and protection.

Food and wine are the sacrifices offered to ancestors at their graves. There is even a day in the calendar that is especially sanctified for families to visit their ancestors' graves to clean its surroundings and to offer a delectable variety of food.

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