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Central China Temple Fair to Mark Birthday of Taoism Founder

Luyi County in central China's Henan Province plans to hold regular temple fair annually to commemorate Lao Zi, the founder of Taoism, who was born in 571 B.C. in the county.

The month-long temple fair will start on March 14, the 15th day of the second month in lunar calendar. During the temple fair, various rituals will be held to honor the philosopher.

A bronze sculpture of Lao Zi, the largest in China, will be unveiled at the temple fair.

Temple fairs were often held to commemorate Lao Zi in ancient times, reaching a peak during the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907).

In 2004, the county invested 120 million yuan (US$15 million) to renovate the Taiqing Temple which was one of the major ancient site for paying respects to Lao Zi. The temple opened to the public early this year, attracting numerous tourists from home and abroad.

The Taiqing Temple was designated a state-protected historic site in 2001.

Although few specific details are known of life of Lao Zi, some historical records say Taiqing Temple in Luyi County is believed to be the place where the founder of the Taoist school of thought lived and worshiped.

His philosophy of Taoism advocated achieving harmony between humans and nature.

(Xinhua News Agency March 11, 2006)

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