China celebrates 2,567th birth anniversary of Confucius

By: | Published: September 28, 2016 9:37 PM

China today celebrated the 2,567th birth anniversary of its ancient philosopher Confucius by organising a grand cultural festival at his hometown in Shandong province and across the country.

More than 2,000 people recited classic quotes from 'The Analects', a collection of Confucius' famous sayings, in front of the Confucius temple in Qufu. (Reuters)More than 2,000 people recited classic quotes from ‘The Analects’, a collection of Confucius’ famous sayings, in front of the Confucius temple in Qufu. (Reuters)

China today celebrated the 2,567th birth anniversary of its ancient philosopher Confucius by organising a grand cultural festival at his hometown in Shandong province and across the country.

More than 2,000 people recited classic quotes from ‘The Analects’, a collection of Confucius’ famous sayings, in front of the Confucius temple in Qufu.

The participants, including government and UNESCO officials, scholars, students and descendants of Confucius, from over 20 countries and regions, marched towards the temple wearing yellow ribbons.

For thousands of years, Confucius has been regarded as a symbol of China’s traditional culture, as well as the country’s intellectuals.

He was venerated as a great sage in ancient China, but despised as a regressive pedant during the decade-long Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), headed by Mao Zedong the founder of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC).

The Party is now resurrecting Confucius in a big way as part of restoration of Chinese culture to rediscover its roots. Dancers wearing Han Dynasty (202 BC-220 AD) costume staged a ritual dance.

Representatives presented flower baskets in front of a statue of Confucius, and all participants bowed three times toward the statue.

The Qufu government organised experts to conduct research on the current name, time, venue, procedure, code of etiquette, sacrificial offerings and ritual dance of the ceremony, to ensure it was suitable occasion.

Ceremonies were held throughout China today, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Some foreigners also attended the ceremony in Quzhou.

David Peter Maclellan, an advisor of the Confucius Institute at Saint Mary’s University in Canada, said Confucianism is helpful for solving the basic problems of a country and a society.

Confucius (551-479 BC), an educator and philosopher, founded Confucianism, a school of thought that deeply influenced later generations.

He was also the first Chinese person to set up private schools that enrolled students from all walks of life. He is believed to have born on September 28.

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