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Grand Ritual Held to Commemorate Yellow Emperor
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A grand ritual, the largest since 1949, was held in China's Shaanxi Province yesterday to commemorate the Yellow Emperor, believed by many to be the ancestor of modern Chinese people.

The ritual started at 9:50 AM Thursday. About 10,000 Chinese people from home and abroad gathered and paid respect to their ancestor to mark the Qingming Festival at the Palace of Offering Sacrifices in Xuanyuan Temple of Emperor Huang's Mausoleum in Huangling County in northwest China's Shaanxi Province, where legend has it that the Yellow Emperor is buried.
The festival is a time when the Chinese people around the world honor their deceased ancestors and beloved.

The Yellow Emperor, known as Huang Di, who lived more than 4,000 years ago, is believed to be a great sovereign and hero during his reign from 2698 BC to 2599 BC, as well as an ancestor of the Han people. He is also said to be the inventor of the principles of traditional Chinese medicine.

Spotted in the crowd were Li Tieying and Jiang Zhenghua, both vice-chairmen of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, China's top legislature.

The Vice Chairman of Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Zhang Siqing and province's Party secretary, Zhao Leji, and governor Yuan Chunqing were also on hand. Along with representatives from the state, provincial, municipal departments and more than 2,300 compatriots from Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan and foreign countries, all of those present bowed to the statue of the Yellow Emperor.

A big drum was struck 34 times to represent the provinces, municipalities, autonomous regions, and special administrative regions. A large bell was then rung 9 times to represent the highest respect in Chinese traditional culture.

More than 1,000 performers staged a grandiose 4-part music and dance performance. 

According to the legend, the Yellow Emperor won a decisive battle against the eastern Yan Di, or Yan Emperor. The latter was actually the star of a ritual that 10,000 people attended in his alleged burial place in Yanling County, Zhuzhou, in central China's Hunan Province yesterday.

Those were not the only ones to commemorate Yellow Emperor and Yan Emperor. A project of Yan Huang Plaza will be completed on April 18, while a big ritual is scheduled for the next day. The huge 106-meter-high statues of the two faces, similar to the United States' Mount Rushmore, were built in Zhengzhou City of Henan Province.

( by Zhang Rui April 6, 2007)

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