Upper Festival 上元節

The lunar Jan 15th is the last day of the Chinese New Year, and also called the Sheung Yuen Jeet 上元節 meaning the Upper Festival, celebrating that the first 1/3 of the year has begun. Traditionally, it is celebrated as part of the Chinese New Year together to kick start the year with a happy and prosperous vibe. However, to Taoists like us, it means a lot more than just that.

The Big Day of Fortune

This day is the anniversary of the Upper Emperor Official of the Sky, and if you have read up on the article on the “Three Great Emperor Officials”(三官大帝) you should know that this god is responsible for raining down fortunes to the people.

However, what determines if you deserve fortune and how much do you deserve? A lot of people will think that you just need to pray to this god on his anniversary day, give more offerings, and you will be able to get the fortune. Sorry, that’s called bribing, and that’s not going to work! Here is a very important mindset lesson for you all.

We honour him and give offerings to show our gratitude for his effort and hard work in the celestial court. Running a government department is not easy, and he is no different from the human running a government department too. We are giving offerings to show how much we appreciate him for what he has been doing for us, not to “get more fortune”.  That reminds me to show you a link to the article on “Giving back” to the human side too!

What determine if you deserve the fortune? You have one whole year to build your profile in the celestial court. It depends on who you are, and what you should be doing. Read up “Working for the Celestial Court”.

If you are just a normal person, not a disciple, you can also participate and ask him for blessings. It’s the new year, anyone who comes to him with a good heart will get a gift to start your year. However, that’s a little gift, not like you will get a lot of fortune in a crate.

For disciples, those newbies in Saam Law Stage, you are like a civilian in the country of Saam Law, what you will be getting is a bit more than the non-disciples. However, if you are doing a good job being a civilian, you will get even more. What does a civilian have to do? Follow the rules (the laws) of the country (the lineage). Study your 5 Virtues, 10 Commandments, and read the scriptures often to learn about them. Talk on LINE and ask for more teachings, study the wisdom of Saam Law and apply them to your everyday life. This is what you should be doing. Those who don’t follow the teachings, or choose to be quiet “mice” style disciples, won’t get much fortune in their hands. It’s not that the Tao is not giving, it’s they are not coming to take any.

For those disciples in Sun Lung Stage and above, you are in the civic system of the lineage, working for the gods, and working for the celestial court. Have you been knowing about your role in the court more? Have you been doing and fulfilling your duty? What are you supposed to do based on your role? You might not know much, but have you asked? You are supposed to ask and learn, not just sit and wait. Those who have been doing a good job will get the big pack fortune.  If you don’t know your role yet, I can tell you one that is very important for any Sun Lung Stage disciple and up – take care of your lowers and respect your uppers. This is very much the heart of all the duties. Civilians are the foundation of a country, if you work for the country, your job is to take care of the civilians and make them stronger, happier, and more fulfilled. When civilians are happy, the country can grow and keep going. It’s your job as a civic officer in the lineage to help out and take care of all the newbies.  (It is my job to take care of you guys!)

Now you know what to do, it’s time to do some self-reflection, and then take ACTION to make some changes. Those in the upper level, I want to see you start doing things, asking questions, and being proactive in helping out the country/lineage. It’s time to give more care to the newbies.

The fortune for the newbies comes from the senior disciples. The fortune for the seniors comes from me and the upper level. The fortune from me comes from the gods. We need to know our role and do our job, this is what the gods call Wu Wei 無為.

Ordain to learn more, and most importantly is to get the connection with the Tao and celestial court established. Interested in reading more? Read our “First Taoism Book” to understand more about Taoism!