Qufu, hometown of Chinese philosopher Confucius, held a ceremony yesterday to celebrate the 2,568th anniversary of his birth.
Confucius (551-479 BC) 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 began at 9am when more than 2,500 students and company employees recited quotes from “The Analects,” a record of Confucius’ ideas and sayings, in front of the Confucius Temple in the city in east China’s Shandong Province.
Wearing yellow ribbons, a further 3,500 participants including UNESCO officials, scholars, students and descendants of Confucius from over 20 countries and regions marched to the temple.
Dancers wearing costumes from the Han Dynasty (202 BC-220 AD) staged a ritual dance at around 9:30am.
Representatives presented flower baskets in front of a statue of Confucius, and each participant bowed three times toward the statue.
Annual commemorations of the life and work of Confucius began in 478 BC, the year after his death.