The 2004 China Qufu International Confucius Cultural Festival has opened in Qufu City in east China's Shandong Province.
A grand ceremony will be held to honor Confucius. A series of academic and commercial programs will also be included.
Confucius (551 B.C.- 479 B.C.) was a great ancient Chinese educator and philosopher born in Qufu. This year is the 2555th anniversary of his birth.
Confucius is regarded as a great thinker in the Chinese history. Confucianism, the school of thought that developed from his ideas, has had great influence on China's political, cultural and social environment for thousands of years.
The local government has been developing its cultural industries with the rich resources of Confucianism. From January to August, 60 percent of the city’s revenue was contributed by cultural industries, which totaled 230 million yuan (US$27.8 million).
(CRI.com September 28, 2004)