Confucius' Birthday- Part 1

  • 29 September, 2018
  • John Van Trieste
Curious John

For millennia, Confucius has been a figure of veneration in ethnic Chinese societies around the world. In Taiwan, a tradition of reverence for the great teacher goes back several centuries, and over time, many temples to Confucius have been built here. In these temples, one of the biggest annual events takes place on September 28, when Taiwan marks Teachers’ Day, a holiday meant to commemorate Confucius’ Birthday. This is a time of year when lavish ceremonies are held to honor Confucius. But what’s all this pomp about? Who was Confucius, and what do the solemnities around him actually involve? Here to tell us over the next two weeks is Cheng Mei-li of the Zuoying Confucius Temple in Kaohsiung, one of the places where visitors can come to see the rituals in action. Today, we start off the series with some history.