The ageless heaven and timeless earth,
And the universe that stands for eternal existence.
We pray for harmony of the world during all four seasons,
And happiness for the people in all eight directions.
This is a passage in an eulogy enunciated in the Confucian
Memorial Service at a Urumqi Confucian Temple, which is the
largest shrine devoted to the sage in the Xinjiang Uighur
Autonomous Region, constructed mainly during the 18th century.
The service is the first this kind since 1945.
Friday, 28 September, is the 2558th birth anniversary of
China’s one of the greatest sages Confucian,
and his followers once again gathered together for public
The sage’s teaching, known as 儒家思想 (Confucius), has been
the heart and backbone of Chinese culture and tradition for
two thousands years, which helped created one of the most
splendid civilisations in the human history.
the start of this year's ceremony in his birthplace, under
the ancient city wall of the Ming
Dynasty, one of Confucian's descendant lighted a torch
that symbolises the flame of the Chinese cultural tradition.
In the angelic and graceful music, the memory procession
paraded through the Ming City and its seven gates to approach
the teaching alter (杏坛) before the Hall of the Great Accomplishment
(大成殿) in the Confucian Temple (孔庙), where 1,500 students
recited the chapters in the Analects (论语),
the most important work of Confucius that speaks of its fundamental
doctrine: the universal humanity (仁).
In another memorial ceremony site in Suzhou, which has a
history that goes back to the time when the sage lived, and
produced more priced First Confucius Scholars (状元) in history
than anywhere else in China, the antiquated Six-Line Dance
(六佾舞) was performed by 36 children wearing a red robe in
the Ming fashion.
The earliest record of the Six-Line Dance as a part of the
memorial representation appeared in the fifth century: “元嘉立学,
裴松之仪, 应舞六佾; 以郊乐未具, 故从权奏登歌. 今金石已备, 宜设轩县之乐, 六佾之舞, 牲牢器用, 悉依上公.
(The rites should include the Six-Line Dance. However, since
the music band was not available, we had only staged singing
performance. But now, as the orchestra is ready, the Six-Line
Dance will be the part of the sacrificial presentation. )”
The Six-Line Dance, originally a chamber dance in the Han
emperors’ palace, is a collection of a set of ceremonial
expressions that includes music, singing, dance and rites,
and can be further divided into cultural and martial two
major categories. When presenting cultural dance, the performers
usually hold one or three feathers in the right hand and
a bamboo flute in the left, with each body movement swinging
to the tune of a spoken word or a music note.
The dance performed at the Confucian Memorial Service is
traditionally consisted of three chapters, each having eight
lines of four-word verse, totaling 96 characters that correspond
at precision to 96 physical movements. Through which the
concepts travel, expand and radiate; and as the sage’s message
of the universal humanity conveyed with the strength
of synchronized harmony, it is thus made susceptible
to the deep corner in our hearts, which further allows it
to be developed into a comprehensive revelation of the greater
wisdom, and beyond.
It is reported that from September 2008, the World Confucius
Forum will be held annually in the sage's birthplace Qufu
County (曲阜市), Shandong Province (山东省).
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