China marks 2,570th anniversary of Confucius' birth
JINAN, Sept. 28 (Xinhua) -- The city of Qufu, hometown of ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius, held a grand ceremony to commemorate the 2,570th anniversary of his birth Saturday.
An educator and philosopher, Confucius (551-479 B.C.) founded a school of thought, deeply influential on later generations, known as Confucianism. He was also the first to set up private schools in China that enrolled students from different social classes.
The ceremony started at 9 a.m. when hundreds of students and residents recited classic quotes from "The Analects," a record of Confucius' ideas and sayings, in front of the Confucius Temple in Qufu, eastern China's Shandong Province.
Wearing yellow ribbons, participants including UNESCO officials, scholars and descendants of Confucius from countries and regions such as China and the Republic of Korea marched to the temple.
Dancers wearing costumes from the Han Dynasty (202 B.C.-220 A.D.) staged a ritual dance at around 9:30 a.m. Representatives presented flower baskets in front of a statue of Confucius, and each participant bowed three times toward the statue.
Similar ceremonies were held in over 30 Confucian temples in China and abroad on the same day.
Annual commemorations of Confucius started in 478 B.C., the year after his death.