Confucius' Birthday- Part 2

  • 06 October, 2018
  • John Van Trieste

Millenia after his lifetime, Confucius remains a figure of reverence in ethnic Chinese communities around the world. Here in Taiwan, Confucian temples recently marked the anniversary of the great teacher’s birth with the customary ceremonies and with ritual dance and music not seen at other times of year. The pomp and circumstance is impressive to see, but even to someone raised here, the actual meaning of it all can be a bit opaque. To help clear things up, I’ve enlisted the help of Cheng Mei-li, of the Zuoying Confucius Temple in the southern city of Kaohsiung. Last week, she filled us in on who Confucius was, reduced his teachings down to the simplest terms, and walked us through the story of Confucianism in Taiwan. This week she’s back to give us a general view of the intricate rites held in Confucius’ honor- including recent changes that bring these rites more in line with contemporary values. First though, she gives us a tour of the Zuoying Confucius Temple.