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【1333期】Temple Holds Ceremony to Mark Confucius’ Birthday

Temple Holds Ceremony to Mark Confucius’ Birthday

 

 

People from throughout Taiwan and abroad flock to the Taipei Confucius Temple to seek to pay respect to the greatest educator in Chinese history. (Photo by Li Jhen-ling) 

 

 

An annual ceremony has been held at the Taipei Confucius Temple to commemorate Confucius’ birthday, which falls on September 28 and is designated as Teacher’s Day in Taiwan for the sage’s being a role model for teachers.

 

 

Confucius Temple is the symbol of Chinese Confucian culture, and the Grand Master’s influence on education is an important part of Chinese culture. 

 

 

As usual, on September 28 this year, the honoring ceremony started from 6 am on that day at the Taipei Confucius Temple, a place of worship built in 1930 by local gentries.  The celebration included the most well preserved Confucian ceremony, with a national level “Three Consecrations” ritual and the display of music and dance giving a total of 37 elaborate steps helping showcase the essence of the Confucian spirit.

 

 

Chen Ying-yi, an emcee for over two decades, told Culture journal , that he is a descendant of a Taipei gentry and that he must pass on the traditional rite.  “The long process of the ceremony would make people patient and calm,” He said. Hong Si-sian, another emcee, said he hopes the ancient rite can be sustained without any interruptions. 

 

 

Ms. Huang, an onlooker at the ceremony, said she had failed to obtain a ticket for the event for four consecutive years.  But she was lucky to snatch one this year, so she was able to watch the entire commemoration. That is “one of the biggest events in the world,” she said.

 

 

In Tainan, a similar ceremony took place on the same day to mark the birth of Confucius 2,569 years ago.  The Confucius Temple there is the only institution in Taiwan that still practices the 2,000-year-old tradition of offering three animal sacrifices -- a goat, a pig, and an ox -- to worship Confucius, the temple’s cultural foundation said, adding that other Confucius temples, including the one in Taipei, preserve the three sacrifices, but replace them with pastry in animal shapes.

 

 


The foundation also mentioned that the practice of plucking the hair around the eyes and ears of the sacrificed ox, a folk custom thought to provide wisdom, had been banned.

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