Beijing, Sept 28 (PTI) Ceremonies were today held to celebrate the 2,568th birth anniversary of Chinese philosopher Confucius in a number of Chinese cities.

About 3,500 people wearing yellow ribbons marched toward the Confucius Temple, where ceremonial dances were performed in Confucius’ hometown in Qufu in Shandong province.

The participants included UNESCO officials, scholars, students and descendants of Confucius from over 20 countries and regions.

About 2,500 students and employees recited classic quotes from ‘The Analects’, a record of Confucius’ ideas and sayings, in front of the temple, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Dancers wearing costumes from the Han Dynasty (202 BC-220 AD) performed. Representatives laid flowers in front of the statue of Confucius.

Confucius (551-479 BC), was an educator and philosopher who founded a school of thought, known as Confucianism.

He also set up the first private school in China that enrolled students from different social classes.

In Quzhou in east China’s Zhejiang Province, Sharon Gou and five colleagues from the United States attended a ceremony at Nanzong Confucius Temple where a group of people recited Confucius’ classics together to celebrate the anniversary.

The Confucius memorial ceremonies were listed as the intangible cultural heritage in China in 2006.

For thousands of years, Confucius has been regarded as a symbol of China’s traditional culture as well as the country’s intellectuals.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.