Various Artists

Taiwan: The Confucius Temple Ceremony

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The well-known Chinese philosopher and educator Confucius lived from 551-479 B.C. It was not until the second century B.C. that the imperial court and the state administration started to implement Confucius' teachings throughout China. Confucian temples, rites, and music were created and ceremonies were performed in every Chinese town and village. Although these rites, music, and ceremonies went through numerous changes (imposed by diverse emperors), worship of Confucius remained quite constant all the way to 1949 -- that is, until the communist revolution, which considered it incompatible with Maoist ideology. Confucianism was banned, but survived among the non-communist Chinese, such as in Taiwan. The ceremonies heard on this CD come from the Confucius Temple of Taipei. It almost disappeared in the first half of the century but was revived in 1964. The music heard is said to be from around the 16th century, though it went through some form of restoration in 1968 (and has been celebrated since then). There are some other places in Taiwan where Confucius is still celebrated in such a way. A taste of a 2,000-year-old historical ceremony.

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