Qufu, the birthplace of China's preeminent philosopher Confucius, plans to restore its ancient city walls and streets ahead of the philosopher's 2556th birthday anniversary, which falls on September 28.
"We hope to make these things look like what they were thousands of years ago, and more visitors may come to celebrate the anniversary," said Kong Xiangjin, director of the Qufu tourism administration.
About 800 meters of stone slabs will be laid on both sides of
the original entrance of the ancient city compound, resembling the ancient streets of the city, and a park will be established along the city moat, with archaic lamp poles, pagodas and fences.
Kong said thousands of Confucius believers are expected to come this year, including from Hong Kong, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, and the United States.
Qufu city used to have several inner cities, and the city wall currently under renovation, the first ever built of bricks in Qufu, was erected in 1513 to safeguard the Confucius Temple.
Last year, the local government restored a 5,300-meter wall built in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and torn down in 1970s in the city's urbanization.
The government plans to promote sightseeing streets around the compound, shopping streets for ancient paintings and calligraphy this year to further boost tourism, Kong said. A praying ceremony will be held on every Saturday morning starting next month.
Chinese feudal rulers enshrined Confucianism as the orthodox school of thought in the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-24 AD). It also spread far into east and south Asia far back in history, where its influence can still be felt.
Confucius' thought was once almost banished from mainstream culture during the troublesome Cultural Revolution in the 1960s. But it staged a comeback soon after that political chaos, remaining an unshakable school of thought in Chinese people's everyday life.
(Xinhua News Agency August 29, 2005)