JINAN, Sept. 28 (Xinhua) -- A ceremony was held in eastern China's Shandong Province on Friday to celebrate the 2569th birthday of Confucius, an ancient Chinese educator and philosopher.
The ceremony, held in the city of Qufu, Confucius' hometown, welcomed government officials, UNESCO officials, scholars, students and descendants of Confucius.
More than 1,400 students and residents recited classic quotes from Lunyu, or the Analects, a collection of ideas and sayings from the Chinese philosopher, while ceremonial dancing was performed at the Confucius Temple.
"The dancing performance, in commemoration of Confucius, explains Li, or rites, in Confucianism," said Kong Xiangsheng, a 75th generation descendant of Confucius.
Confucius (551-479 B.C.) founded Confucianism, a school of thought that deeply influenced later generations. He was also the first Chinese person to set up private schools and enroll students from all walks of life. He is believed to have been born on Sept. 28. Annual commemorations of Confucius started in 478 B.C., the year after his death.