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China holds ceremonies for anniversary of Confucius’ birth

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China’s Confucius temples on Monday held both online and offline ceremonies to commemorate the 2,571st anniversary of the ancient philosopher’s birth.

In the city of Qufu, the hometown of Confucius in Shandong Province, a grand ceremony attracted over 300 participants, including scholars, experts, and Confucius descendants from home and abroad.

Wearing yellow ribbons, the participants streamed into the temple in a long procession and laid flowers before the Confucius statue. Li Ganjie, governor of Shandong Province, read the eulogy and led the guests to bow three times.

This year, the China Confucius Foundation also opened an online platform where netizens can observe a virtual ritual and pay tribute to the philosopher with virtual flowers and wine.

An educator and philosopher, Confucius (551-479 B.C.), founded a school of thought, profoundly 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.

Annual commemorations of Confucius started in 478 B.C., the year after his death.

Similar ceremonies were also held in other Confucious temples in China and abroad. In Beijing, a 700-year-old Confucius temple was decorated with chrysanthemum and yellow ribbons as it observed a solemn ritual to mark the anniversary.

The event was broadcast live on two popular short-video platforms to “allow those with a busy life to enjoy a moment of tradition,” according to the museum that arranged the ceremony. 

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