Big ceremonies were held in a number of Chinese cities on Sunday to celebrate the 2565th anniversary of the birth of ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius.
In Qufu City, hometown of Confucius in east China’s Shandong Province, more than 4,000 people marched toward the Confucius Temple in a grand ceremony on Sunday morning, as government officials, scholars, students and the descendants of Confucius recited the classics of the ancient philosopher.
Elsewhere, some 300 people bowed to the statue of Confucius in Yuelu Academy in Changsha, capital of central China’s Hunan Province, while in the southwestern Guiyang City, around 300 pupils, dressed in traditional Han clothes, read classics of the educator in the local Confucius School on Sunday.
Confucius (551-479 BC), an educator and philosopher, founded the school of thought Confucianism that deeply influenced later generations. He was also the first Chinese person to set up private schools and enroll students from all walks of life.
He is believed to be born on Sept. 28.
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 deified as a great sage in ancient China, and despised as a regressive pedant during the decade-long Cultural Revolution (1966-1976).
After the reform and opening up policy in the late 1970s, respect of traditional Chinese culture has been restored and Confucius Institutes have become a feature of the Chinese culture going global.
Annual commemorations of Confucius started in BC 478, the year after his death.