2,569th birthday of Confucius celebrated in China
JINAN, Sept. 28 (Xinhua) -- A ceremony was held in eastern China's Shandong Province Friday to celebrate the 2,569th birthday of Confucius, an ancient Chinese educator and philosopher.
The ceremony, held in the city of Qufu, Confucius' hometown, attracted government officials, UNESCO officials, scholars, students and descendants of Confucius.
More than 1,400 students and residents recited classic quotes from Lunyu, or the Analects, a collection of ideas and sayings from the Chinese philosopher, while ceremonial dancing was performed at the Confucius Temple.
"The dancing performance, in commemoration of Confucius, explains Li, or rites, in Confucianism," said Kong Xiangsheng, a 75th-generation descendant of Confucius.
In the city of Quzhou in east China's Zhejiang Province, representatives from Confucius institutes in 10 countries attended a ceremony at Nanzong Confucius Temple, one of the Confucius family temples.
Preetema Atmekoemarie, director of the Confucius Institute at the Anton de Kom University of Suriname, said she has always been fascinated by the wisdom of the ancient Chinese thinker.
"As a country having so much esteem for Confucius, China is bound to bring more positive changes to the world," said Preetema.
In southwest China's Yunnan Province, officials, scholars, students and descendants of Confucius from home and abroad attended a ceremony held at the Confucius temple in Jianshui County.
More than 2,100 people from 1,080 families also participated in a ceremony in which they observed traditional Confucian etiquettes to mark the beginning of their education, childhood and adulthood.
Covering an area of 76,000 square meters, the Confucius temple in Jianshui is the second largest of its kind in the country.
For thousands of years, Confucius has been regarded as a symbol of China's traditional culture as well as the country's intellectuals.
Confucius (551-479 B.C.) founded Confucianism, a school of thought 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 have been born on Sept. 28. Annual commemorations of Confucius started in 478 B.C., the year after his death.