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China Focus: Confucius commemorated
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10:22, September 29, 2008

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Artists perform during the sacrificing ceremony to Confucius at the Confucian Temple in Qufu, east China's Shandong Province, September 28, 2008. The aunnal grand sacrificing ceremony to Confucius was held in the hometown of Confucius on Sunday, to mark the 2559th birthday of the supremely esteemed Sage. This year's sacrificing ceremony emphasizes one of the Confucian spirits "the benevolent love the others, constantly strive for self-improvement". Confucius (551 BC-479BC) was a great thinker, statesman and educator during the Spring and Autumn Period (770BC-476BC) in ancient China, whose thought exerted great influence on Chinese people as well as people in other Asian countries during the past 2500-plus years.(Xinhua/Liu Xin)

"The movement of heaven is full of power. Thus the superior man makes himself strong and untiring."

This is the classic doctrine of Confucius. It was being chanted and signed by forty deaf or mute children during a ceremony marking the 2559th birthday of the great Chinese thinker on Sunday in Quzhou in east China's Zhejiang Province.


An artist performs during the sacrificing ceremony to Confucius at the Confucian Temple in Qufu, east China's Shandong Province, September 28, 2008. The aunnal grand sacrificing ceremony to Confucius was held in the hometown of Confucius on Sunday, to mark the 2559th birthday of the supremely esteemed Sage. This year's sacrificing ceremony emphasizes one of the Confucian spirits "the benevolent love the others, constantly strive for self-improvement". Confucius (551BC-479BC) was a great thinker, statesman and educator during the Spring and Autumn Period (770BC-476BC) in ancient China, whose thought exerted great influence on Chinese people as well as people in other Asian countries during the past 2500-plus years. (Xinhua/Fan Changguo)

Quzhou is where one of the two family temples of Confucius locates. Twenty-eight generations of Confucius' descendants had lived there.

Participants at the ceremony did not wear traditional Chinese costumes as usual and rituals were simplified to show modern people's way of respecting the ancient sage.

Memorial activities were also held in Qufu, Shandong Province, where Confucius was born.

Jiang Daming, governor of Shandong, read an elegiac address at the ceremony, paying tribute to the man.

The address, compiled by Jin Yong, a well-known novelist of Chinese "wuxia" or martial arts stories, highlighted the Beijing Olympic Games and China's efforts to conquer a series of natural disasters as well as work protecting the environment.

The focus of the address varies every year, reflecting China's social evolution and the development of modern people's understanding of ancient ideologies, said Yang Zuoren, president of Shandong Confucius Business School.

Yang was the writer of the ceremonial address during the past four years.


A confucianism scholar receives a foreign journalist's interview after the sacrificing ceremony to Confucius at the Confucian Temple in Qufu, east China's Shandong Province, September 28, 2008. The aunnal grand sacrificing ceremony to Confucius was held in the hometown of Confucius on Sunday, to mark the 2559th birthday of the supremely esteemed Sage. This year's sacrificing ceremony emphasizes one of the Confucian spirits "the benevolent love the others, constantly strive for self-improvement". Confucius (551 BC-479BC) was a great thinker, statesman and educator during the Spring and Autumn Period (770BC-476BC) in ancient China, whose thought exerted great influence on Chinese people as well as people in other Asian countries during the past 2500-plus years.(Xinhua/Liu Xin)

Confucius (551 BC-479 BC) was a famous educator and thinker in ancient times. He founded Confucianism, a mainstream school of thought that deeply influenced later generations.

Confucius was a highlight of the dazzling opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games on Aug. 8.

Performers dressed in ancient-style gowns chanted famous sayings of Confucius, such as "friends have come from afar, how happy we are" and "all those within the four seas can be considered as brothers."

The sayings indicated the significance and sustaining influence of the ancient sage in a modern society.

"Confucius is a pride and promoter of Chinese culture. Confucius institutes across the world are attracting more people who are interested in Chinese culture," said Maja Linneman with Germany-based Goethe Institute.

"We can not put Confucius aside when we talk about traditional Chinese culture. Not only China, but also the whole world should learn about Confucius thought, which has educational significance to a materialized society," said Roger T. Ames with the University of Hawaii.

Source: Xinhua



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