Today Eastern Asia unites to pay tribute to ancient philosopher Confucius on his 2,567th birthday, born September 28, 551BC.
In Qufu, the birth place of Confucius, thousands gather to attend the formal ceremony at the Confucius Temple. Celebrations are also held in temples throughout China and Taiwan, as well as Macau, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan and Vietnam. The modern Confucian ceremony is 60 minutes long and consists of 37 choreographed parts. During the commemoration there are many musical performances and dancing using ancient instruments and traditional costumes.
September 28 is also celebrated as Teachers’ Day in Taiwan, a holiday that honours teachers and the birthday of Confucius, who is considered the master educator in ancient China. There is current debate in the People’s Republic of China to whether Teachers’ day should be moved from September 10 to September 28. The Teachers’ Day change is considered a landmark of Confucianism’s revival.
Confucius and his philosophy have profoundly influenced Chinese politics, values and ethics. Today not only is his life celebrated but his death venerated.
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