The Grand Selection

The Grand Selection was the method by which new disciples were chosen for the Xuanyin sect in Tai Sui by Priest. It traditionally occurred once every ten years.


The Grand Selection was held every ten years. When the start of a Grand Selection year arrived, the state sect Xuanyin would choose an auspicious date on which to send an immortal down the mountain to Jinping, and this envoy would select a class of new potential disciples. Only the scions of nobility were eligible to be considered for selection.1

The selection generally occurred in the springtime. In Taiming 28, it occurred in late spring, at the beginning of the fourth month.1


Although only the nobility could participate in the selection itself, selection years were still celebrated throughout all of Southern Wan, especially in Jinping. It was customary for other selections, examinations, and competitions to be held at the same time, and a general atmosphere of excitement descended upon the capital city. Those that had passed provincial exams traveled to Jinping for the metropolitan examination during selection season. Bodyguards in training held brawls to prove their worth. Even Jinping's brothels participated with pageants such as the legendary Queen of Flowers competition.1

The great flood of people to the capital in selection years also created the need for many workers to support them, creating job opportunities for the lower class.1

It was said that, in the years the immortal envoy came down from the mountains, the weather would be favorable and the harvests would be plentiful. Thus, even farmers and the common people had reason to look forward to selection season.1


In Taiming 28, the Jinping brothel The House of Overflowing Splendor held its customary pageant, The Flower Viewing Festival, as part of the celebration of the Grand Selection. Xi Ping participated in this competition, dressing as a woman in order to play accompaniment on the qin for the courtesan Jiangli, the winner of the camelia crown. He then famously encountered his father, Xi Zhengde, as he was leaving and sprinted away through the city while dressed as a courtesan.1


  1. Chapter 1: Midnight Song (1) translation original archive

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