THE CONFUCIUS CEREMONY IN 1999
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Ceremony to mark the 2550th Anniversary of the birth of Confucius, September 27,
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
places in Beijing, notable for its ancient trees and the fact that its buildings
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.
of the procession leading from the entrance at the beginning of the ceremony.
funding for the event had to cover the cost of making all the expensive costumes,
their embroidered panels.
rehearsed for weeks to be able to recreate the ancient dances with the
plumes. They were very graceful. The music and dance at these traditional
is always slow and stately, as befits someone's 2550th birthday, when he
be presumed to be slowing down a bit.
ceremony features a 'sacrifice' with an image of an ox, but the fruit and nuts