In Taiwan, more than a thousand people have attended a ceremony to celebrate the 2,529th birthday of the Chinese philosopher, Confucius.
GV PAN Consecration officers walk to altar to beat of drum at Confucius Temple
SV Mayor of Taipei Lee Teng-Hui washes his hands during ceremony
SV Consecration officers carrying crosses and lanterns march to music
SV Lee Teng-Hui bows at altar and hands joss stick to priest
GV Robed dancers wave wooden sticks in time to music
SV Altar inside Temple and Lee Teng-Hui bows down as Chief Consecration Officer chants (3 shots)
GV Lee Teng-Hui walks to front of Temple
SV Procession of officials moves past in ceremony to welcome Spirit of the Sage (2 shots)
SV Onlookers watch ceremony
GV Robed Consecration Officers leave Temple as drummer beats drum during withdrawal ceremony (2 shots)
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Background: In Taiwan, more than a thousand people have attended a ceremony to celebrate the 2,529th birthday of the Chinese philosopher, Confucius. The formal birthday rites were held at the Confucius Temple in Taipei.
SYNOPSIS: Confucius was born in 551 BC on September the 28th. Every year, this date is set aside as Teachers' Day--a national Taiwanese holiday. The highpoint of the celebrations is this ceremony, which follows age-old Chinese rituals.
Officiating at this year's ceremony was the Mayor of Taipei, Lee Teng-Hui.
The philosophy of Confucius has dictated the development of Chinese history over the past twenty-five centuries. Confucius' political thoughts--which aim at the creation of a feudal order--are now out of date. But there is little doubt that his humanist views still influence the everyday lives of the Chinese in Taiwan.
Confucius opened his famous academy to everyone--irrespective of their class or origin. His statement that "with education, there is no class" is still widely quoted.
During his career as a teacher, Confucius had some three thousand pupils. The overwhelming majority of them were from poor families and of humble background.
Confucius believed the most important attributes of a scholar were eagerness to learn, vigour in action, and a sense of shame. He said that moral attainment was the only difference between a vicious man and a virtuous man. Moral attainment was also the sole factor differentiating between social chaos and an orderly world.
Communist China has rejected the teachings of Confucius. But in Taiwan, his philosophy is said to be as valid today as it was two thousand five hundred years ago.