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Surname Festival Starts in Henan
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You get a family name as soon as you're born. It's important for personal identification, and as a tribute to one's ancestors. But who started giving out surnames? And what were they first used for? A festival in Henan is taking people back to their roots.

Folks from around the country, and overseas, are drawn by the theme -- "A Common Root". The idea for the surname is credited to Fuxi, a legendary figure of six thousand years ago. He established a homebase in Huaiyang County, Henan Province.

The first surnames came from the mother, not the father. They were used to acknowledge family membership, and made settling disputes more orderly.

The three-day event will hold ceremonies, exhibitions and performances, through Wednesday.

(CCTV November 1, 2006)

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