Grand ceremony held in Quzhou to commemorate Confucius
Description：A grand memorial ceremony is held in Quzhou, southeast China's Zhejiang province, on Sept. 28, 2018 to mark the 2,569th anniversary of the birth of Confucius. Kong Xiangkai, the 75th generation in the lineal descent of Confucius, serves as the master of c
A grand memorial ceremony was held in Quzhou, southeast China's Zhejiang province, on Sept. 28 to mark the 2,569th anniversary of the birth of Confucius and pay tribute to the great Chinese philosopher and educator.
A grand memorial ceremony is held in Quzhou, southeast China's Zhejiang province, on Sept. 28, 2018 to mark the 2,569th anniversary of the birth of Confucius. Kong Xiangkai, the 75th generation in the lineal descent of Confucius, serves as the master of ceremony this year. [Photo by Li Kang/China.org.cn]
Born in 551 B.C., Confucius taught concepts that are considered a principle philosophy in China for more than 2,000 years, and respected around the world.
Guests from home and abroad, including nearly 1,000 students and faculty as well as representatives from Confucius Institutes of 10 countries, the U.S., Brazil, Australia, Surinam, Senegal, Madagascar, Armenia, Uganda, Guinea and Congo, gathered at the Southern Confucius Ancestral Temple, one of the two temples in China belonging to direct descendants of Confucius, for the ceremony.
The ceremony featured tributes and recitals. In the tribute-paying session, participants presented the five ceremonial grains, the "Four Treasures of Study," incense, and candles, while representatives of Confucius Institutes as well as other representatives from Zhejiang province presented flower baskets.
For the recitals, representatives from Quzhou elementary, middle and high schools, Quzhou special education school and Confucius Institutes recited sentences from The Analects of Confucius. Participants also sang the "Ode to Great Harmony," which contains the famous sentence encouraging people to pursue a just cause for common good.
Unlike previous sessions, the master of ceremony this year was Kong Xiangkai, director of the management committee of Quzhou Southern Confucius Ancestral Temple and a 75th generation lineal descendent of Confucius.
The 80-year-old revived the commemorating ceremony to mark the birth of Confucius in 2004 after the tradition had lapsed for more than 50 years in Quzhou.
Since 2011, the annual memorial ceremony held in Quzhou has been selected as a national intangible cultural heritage, which calls on people to commemorate Confucius in contemporary China.
Michel Bono Tolno, co-director of the Confucius Institute at Conakry University in Guinea, said in an interview that he learned a lot from the ceremony which he hasn't learnt from books, which helped him better understand the teaching of Confucius.
He also highlighted that he would go back to his country to encourage more people, especially the youth, to be more virtuous.
Chen Xiangyun, a fifth-grade student in Nishan Elementary School in Quzhou, recited sentences from the Analects of Confucius at the ceremony. He said he is very honored to have the opportunity to attend the ceremony.
Citing a famous sentence from the classics, the boy, who won first prize in a competition reciting the Analects of Confucius in the city, said that it is a great pleasure to have so many friends coming from afar.
His teacher, Yang Huifeng, spoke about the efforts of her elementary school, the only school for the descendants of Confucius in Quzhou, to promote Confucianism. Besides the on-the-spot experience, the school also design a series of curriculum for its students to recite and learn the Confucian classics.
After the ceremony, a forum was held for the representatives from the Confucius Institutes to communicate ideas and share insights.
Kong agreed with the proposal of a Confucius Institute representative to popularize the idea that Confucius is a real person. "He is a teacher, a real person with a wife and children. That is why people often say 'There is no Confucius neither before him, nor after him.'" Kong said.
He also called for Confucius Institutes to work together for this goal.
(Source_title：Grand ceremony held in Quzhou to commemorate Confucius)