A launch ceremony is held in front of the Hall of Great Accomplishment in Qufu, Shandong Province July 22.
The Olympic torch relay started in Qufu, the hometown of Confucius in east China's Shandong Province on Tuesday morning.
It is the sacred flame's third stop in Shandong Province.
A descendant of Confucius', Kong Peng kicks off the Olympic torch relay in Qufu, Shandong Province July 22.
Confucius was born in Nishan, which is 30 kilometers southeast of Qufu City, and spent many years in Qufu giving lectures, accompanied by his disciples and followers.
The locals welcome the Olympic torch in Qufu, Shandong Province July 22.
A year after Confucius' death, many believers flocked to Qufu to listen to Confucius' disciples explain the doctrine, and the authority of Lu ordered the philosopher's home to be turned into a temple.
A short launching ceremony would be held in front of the Hall of Great Accomplishment, the major structure of the Confucius Temple.
Covering a building space of 22 hectares and consisting nearly 500 rooms, the temple is one of the three largest ancient architectural complexes in China, second only to the size of the Forbidden City. The yellow tiles and red walls all covered with delicate decoration make the Temple extremely grand.
Along the route, the flame will visit some historic relics like the wall of the Kingdom of Lu, the tomb of Shao Hao, one of the five legendary emperors in ancient China.
A total of 100 torchbearers will participate in the 5.1-kilometer leg of the Olympic torch relay in Qufu.
Torchbearers are from all walks of life, including athletes, bankers, salesmen, teachers and firefighter, among many others. Kong Peng, a local tour guide and a descendant of Kong family, will be the first bearer.
(Xinhua News Agency, BOCOG July 22, 2008)