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11/1/11
The 1st Day of Chinese New Year 2011 Festival Season

15 January 2011
 
 

大哉孔子

There were five individuals who have played the most pivotal roles in Chinese history: the Yellow Emperor who created the Chinese nation and laid down the foundation for Chinese civilisation, Duke Zhou who complied I Ching and placed a cornerstone for Chinese culture, Lao Tzu who wrote Book of Virtues and lifted Chinese culture to a celestial height and beyond, Confucius who gave Chinese culture a humanitarian depth which is the single biggest factor that has contributed to the exceptional longevity of Chinese civilisation, and Mao Zedong who initiated a brand new social structure to achieve a genuine mass democracy which enabled the aging nation to rejuvenate.

On January 11, 2011, the 1st day of Chinese New Year festival season, Confucius became the second historical giant to settle in the heart of China, the Tiananmen Square, after Mao Zedong.

Hopefully, the other three greatest figures in Chinese history - Lao Tzu, Duke Zhou and Yellow Emperor - would also open a branch office there one day.

The dialogue between the past and the present, the tradition and the revolution: the statue of Confucius and the portrait of Mao Zedong eventually come to see eye to eye.

The pity: It's too hard to bring ourselves to praise the craftsmanship of the statue ...

 

(Source of photos: 潘旭临, 范继文 - 中新社)

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Lunar December 8th is often the coldest day of a year, which is more so this year than many other years. However, it is also a day of blessing - 2,535 years ago this day, historical Sakyamuni attained his ultimate enlightenment after nourished with a bowl of porridge generously donated by a shepherd girl.

Later, eating nuts-rich porridge became a way to pay annual tribute to the enlightened and a kick start event to open Chinese New Year festival.

There is no difference this year. Monks at Yunju Monastery (云居寺) in Beijing cook Lunar Eight Porridge (腊八粥) to celebrate the beginning of the perfect enlightenment and the start of the Chinese New Year festival season.

In Shanghai, Buddhist masters at Jing'an Monastery have shared their blessing porridge with about 5,000 citizens.

Monks from Nanshanjiang Monastery (南山讲寺) in Hangzhou, the capital city of Zhejiang, personally bring Lunar Eight Porridge to the volunteers donating their blood to save the lives of others.

(Sources of photos: fjnet.com & xinhuanet.com)


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