Banquet for Community Leaders and Rural Elders
This was an important social function in ancient China. On the basis of their purpose, such banquets can generally be divided into two kinds: one was to entertain virtuous people in the locality in a display of respect for them; the other was hosted by local officials to entertain the elders to show respect and care for them. Such banquets were important in maintaining moral order in rural communities.
At banquets hosted for village elders, those who were over sixties sat, and those who were only in their fifties stood to serve them, and this shows that the elders were honored. Those in their sixties had three dishes, those in their seventies four, those in their eighties five and those in their nineties six, thus demonstrating care for the aged. (The Book of Rites)