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The Ceremony to mark the 2550th Anniversary of the birth of Confucius, September 27, 1999,
at the Confucius Temple in Beijing. I arranged the funding for this event, the first full recreation
of the Imperial Ceremony since 1916. I am one of the kneeling mandarins, seen here from inside
the main hall. We are paying homage to the spirit of Confucius. The Confucius Temple is one of
my favorite places in Beijing, notable for its ancient trees and the fact that its buildings have not
been over-restored as the Buddhist temple buildings generally are in China. The temple has a
genuine atmosphere of antiquity about it. The central chime used in the ceremony was a solid
piece of jade chimestone given to the temple in the 17th century by the Emperor Kangxi.

Part of the procession leading from the entrance at the beginning of the ceremony.
The funding for the event had to cover the cost of making all the expensive costumes,
with their embroidered panels.

Schoolgirls rehearsed for weeks to be able to recreate the ancient dances with the
feather plumes. They were very graceful. The music and dance at these traditional
events is always slow and stately, as befits someone's 2550th birthday, when he
can be presumed to be slowing down a bit.

The ceremony features a 'sacrifice' with an image of an ox, but the fruit and nuts
were real.