Comprehensive Rites of the Great Qing

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  • Date: 1736-1759
  • Chinese: 大清通礼 (Da Qing tongli)

The Da Qing tongli, or "Comprehensive Rites of the Great Qing," is a volume detailing Imperial rites performed in the Qing Dynasty Court. Along with compilations of the actual official statutes, this "became the standard of ritual orthodoxy for the remainder of the ... period."[1] Commissioned in 1736, it was completed in 1759, and entered into widespread publication in 1818.[1]

The rites are divided into five categories, known as wuli (五礼):

  1. Jili (吉礼) - "auspicious rites," including world-ordering rites, sacrifices to Heaven and Earth, and other rites performed by the Chinese Emperor in his role as Son of Heaven, i.e. as the pivot between Heaven and Earth.
  2. Jiali (嘉礼) - "felicitous rites," performed by the emperor in his role as ruler; these include a variety of rites in which government officials assemble before the emperor, including the emperor surveying his subjects, the handing down of imperial edicts, the receiving of memorials to the throne, and the like.
  3. Xiongli (凶礼) - "inauspicious rites," including, chiefly, funerary rites.
  4. Binli (賓礼) - "guest ritual," governing the reception of regional lords and foreign emissaries.
  5. Junli (軍礼) - "martial rites," performed by the emperor in his role as military leader and warrior.


  • James Hevia, Cherishing Men from Afar: Qing Guest Ritual and the Macartney Embassy of 1793, Duke University Press (1995), 22-23.
  1. 1.0 1.1 Richard Smith, “Ritual in Ch’ing Culture,” in Kwang-Ching Liu (ed.), Orthodoxy in Late Imperial China, University of California Press (1990), 286.