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Public Offering for Legendary Chinese Ancestors

A grand sacrificial ceremony was held Tuesday in central China's history-rich Henan Province to worship Zhuanxu and Diku, two legendary sages venerated as pioneers of Chinese culture.

Attendees wearing yellow-ribbons laid watermelons, nectarines, apples, muskmelons, strawberries and Chinese jujubes in front of the sages' mausoleum in Neihuang County, Anyang and prayed for the blessing of the two ancestors.

Other memorial rites also include a 34-gun salute, an oration chant and an ancient musical performance.

The public offering marked the climax of the 10-day memorial festival held from April 20 to 30 and sponsored by local county and city governments.

More than one million people from home and abroad are paying their homage to the two legendary sages and their ancestral clan during the 10-day festival, local officials said.

Though no part of the legendary figures' actual rules of ancient China has been recorded, generations of Chinese still hold that they shaped the nation's early establishment of social order, religious reform, moral standards and ethics from a primitive society.

Paying homage to holy ancestral sites and root-seeking have become increasingly popular during these years when more Chinese hope to reclaim their greatness by keeping their traditions, even by worshipping their semi-fictional ancestors.

Important parts of the Chinese culture, memorial rites were considered an effective way to keep in touch with the past during ancient times.

As globalization sweeps through China, many Chinese have turned to their millennia-old culture to maintain their cultural uniqueness.

In Anyang, such public sacrificial activities have been held for three consecutive years in the spring. Anyang is renowned for the discovery of Yin Ruins, capital of late Shang Dynasty (c.1300- 1050 BC), and China's earliest known capital.

(Xinhua News Agency April 28, 2005)



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