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  • Writer's picture Даосская Ассоциация России

What is the Daoist clothing?

Cheng Bohan

09/27/2023


The Rules of Daoist Clothing: Daoists are a relatively conservative group. In addition to normal Daoist attire, they are not allowed to wear revealing clothing, heavy makeup, etc. Dressing should conform to social etiquette, and wear clothing that conforms to appropriate etiquette in corresponding social occasions.


Daoist priest's crown categories

The common crowns of modern Daoism are the Louts Crown and San Qing Crown. As tradition of Zhenngyi Clan. After you obtain the San Wu Du Gong Jing Lu, you can wear the Yuan Ming Zhen Ren Crown or Ruyi Crown. Only after you have the Shang Qing San Dong Wu Lei Jing Lu, you can be allowed to wear San Qing Crown. And the Five Elders Crown normally will be worn during the Chaodu Ceremony. Quanzhen Clan have more regulation towards Crowns. Such as the Yellow Crown is wear by Daoist who got the Ordination Ceremony (冠巾). Five Mountain Crown is given to the Daoist who took the 3 big Commandments.


The Louts Crown(蓮花冠)


The San Qing Crown(三清冠)


The Yuan Ming Zhen Ren Crown(元命真人冠)


The Ruyi Crown(如意冠)


The Five Elders Crown(五老冠)


The Yellow Crown(黃冠)


The Five Mountains Crown(五嶽冠)



Are the Hexagonal Hat and the Hun Yuan hat traditional?

In Zhengyi Ceremonies we can see the Daoist priests wear the Hexagonal Hat with a Ruyi on the back side. And Quanzhen Daoists wear the Hun Yuan Hat. Actually, these hats only appeared after the Qing Dynasty. The more traditional Daoist hats are Zhuangzi Hat, Jiuliang Hat, Huayang Hat, etc. Before the Qing Dynasty, Daoist priests wore crowns directly on their hair when performing rituals.


the Hexagonal Hat(六角帽)


Hun Yuan Hat(混元巾)



Zhuangzi Hat(莊子巾)


Jiu Liang Hat(九梁巾)


In the late Northern and Southern dynasties of China,《法服圖儀》records the rules for Daoist clothing.「正一法師,玄冠,黃裙,絳褐,絳帔二十四條;高玄法師,玄冠,黃裙,黃褐,黃帔二十八條;洞神法師,玄冠,黃裙,青褐,黃帔三十二條;洞玄法師,芙蓉冠,黃褐,黃裙,紫帔三十二條;洞真法師,元始冠,青裙,紫褐,紫帔三十四條;大洞法師,元始冠,黃裙,紫褐,五色雲霞帔;三洞講法師,元始冠,絳裙,黃褐,九色離羅帔; 大洞女冠,飛雲風氣之冠;山居法師,二儀冠,上下黃裙帔三十六條;凡常道士,平冠,上下黃裙帔二十四條;凡常女冠,玄冠,上下黃裙帔十八條。」

But in the Modern times, Daoist clothing is far more gorgeous and luxurious. There are roughly the following types of modern Daoist Clothes:



Jiang Yi(絳衣), or Big Sleeves Vestment(大袖法衣). Worn by Daoist during Great ceremonies, or Quanzhen Priest wear in their ceremonies.





The Tower Vestment(簫臺衣), or the Small Sleeves Vestment(小袖法衣)。 Zhengyi Priest often wears this type of vestment.


Buzi Vestment(补子衣,又称行衣). Zhengyi Priests often wear this vestment durinng Scriptures Chanting, Holy Documents Delivering Ceremony and some other medium ceremonies.

The upper vestments will be embroidered with patterns such as BaGua, Tai Chi, Holy Tower, dragons and tigers, phoenixes and peacocks, stars and so on.





Ban Yi(班衣),similar to Buddhism Kasaya. Worn by Quanzhen Priests during Chanting Scriptures.



The Hundred Blessing Vestment(百衲衣),Sewn from fabrics donated by different believers. Symbolize blessings from hundreds of people and also symbolize frugal. Worn in Chaodu Ceremonies and exorcism.





Bagua Yi(八卦衣), can be worn universally and can be worn by Daoists on formal occasions.



The Commandment Vestments. Worn by the Priests during the Commandment Taking Ceremomy. In San Tan Da Jie(三壇大戒)have three stages of Commandments: Chu Zhen Commandment(初真戒), Zhong Ji Commandment(中極戒), Tian Xian Great Commandment(天仙大戒). Therefore have three types of The Commandment Vestments.


Chu Zhen Commandment Vestmen(初真戒衣).Similar to Buddhism Kasaya. Worn by Daoist who taken the Chu Zhen Commandment.(初真戒)



Qing Chen Jing Vestment(轻尘净衣). Worn by the Daoists who taken the Zhong Ji Commandment. (中極戒)



Heavenly Immortals Vestment (天仙洞衣). Worn by the Daoists who taken the Tian Xian Great Commandment. (天仙大戒)




Daoism also has regular clothes, which are the clothes that Daoist priests wear every day.

Duoluo(得羅): A rope that the collar has three layers symbolize The Three Primes (三清) The armpits are slightly narrow, and the sleeves are particularly wide. Under the right armpit have two decoration ribbon called Sword of Wisdom (慧劍). The collar is crossed, left side covers the right side, and the dress is ankle-length.



Long Dao Pao (大褂道袍) A rope that the collar has three layers symbolize The Three Primes (三清). The length of Sleeves match to the length of your arm. Under the right armpit have two decoration ribbon called Sword of Wisdom (慧劍). The collar is crossed, left side covers the right side, and the dress is shin-length.


Short Dao Pao (短褂): A rope that the collar has three layers symbolize The Three Primes (三清). Under the right armpit have two decoration ribbon called Sword of Wisdom (慧劍). The collar is crossed, left side covers the right side, and the dress is shin-length. Have long sleeves Short Dao Pao and short sleeves Short Dao Pao.




Cloud Socks and Cloth Shoes are often worn by Daoist. The Cloud Socks just white long socks worn by Ancient Chinese for keeping their legs from bugs during the agricultural work and hiking etc.

The Cloth Shoes have two types. One is the normal Black Cloth Shoes. Second type is called Shi Fang Cloth Shoes which it has holes on the side of shoes to show you are the priests who live inside temple and take temple as your home(出家).

And Daoist normally do not wear leather shoes, symbolize mercy.

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