If you think in terms of a year, plant a seed; if you think in terms of ten years, plant trees; if you think in terms of 100 years, teach people.Confucius
History of Confucius Day
Considered to be China’s most famous teacher, Confucius was born at the end of the Spring and Autumn Period, which ranges from 770-481 BC. With the belief that he could set the world right, Confucius went on a long journey of self exile to find a government in which to serve, but he never found one.
During much of his life, he took on disciples who sat under his teaching and grew in knowledge and insight. This philosopher and teacher had significant influence on Chinese culture and society, not only in his time but also going forward.
His philosophical teachings are named after him, called Confucianism, and they encapsulate virtues like morality, justice, kindness, humility, sincerity and correctness in social relationships.
Confucius authored the Five Classics, encouraging students in topics such as music, culture, philosophy, poetry, politics, and ethics. Through his teachings and guidance, he left a legacy of rules and practices which were organized by his students into selected sayings (Analects). His students also continued to run his school of philosophy even after he died.
Celebrated just after the anniversary of Confucius’ birth, which is September 28, Confucius Day offers the perfect opportunity to enjoy and appreciate the pursuit of education and knowledge.
Because of his status as a teacher, whose only requirement to take a student was that he was eager to learn, this day is also celebrated as Teacher’s Day in China and Taiwan.
How to Celebrate Confucius Day
Confucius Day comes with many opportunities for enjoying the day and paying homage to its namesake. Consider some of these ideas for celebrating:
Read Confucius’ Writings
Spending some time studying the writings of and quotes by Confucius is a super way to celebrate Confucius Day. But beware: these writings are deep and are not a quick read. In fact, reading and pondering just one quote slowly is probably a better way to absorb and understand it than trying to amass large amounts of knowledge from his body of work.
What could be a better time to enjoy the beauty and cultural influences of China than for Confucius Day? The birthplace of this famous teacher is in Qufu (Shandong), China, where the grand festivities begin at 4am!
Traditional costumes, musical performances, playing of ancient instruments, dancing, and other activities take place at the Confucius Temple in Qufu. Rituals are practiced at the temple and Thousands of people participate and street stalls are filled with food for everyone to enjoy.
Fancy trying a new language? Why not Chinese? In honor of Confucius Day and his native land, it might be a great idea to try learning a few words of this language that is one of the most commonly spoken languages in the world!