Hong Kong to Celebrate Confucius in Lieu of a Holiday at Easter

April 23, 2007

Source: Asia News


For years now, China’s government has been rehabilitating the figure of the great philosopher as a cultural ‘bridge’ to the rest of the world but also as a mentor justifying obedience to authorities. Christians will have to give up one holiday at Easter in favour of Confucius’ birthday.

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – A senior religious affairs official yesterday indicated for the first time that Beijing was in support of a plan in Hong Kong to make Confucius' birthday a public holiday, but on condition that it replace a public holiday on Easter.

For Qi Xiaofei, deputy director of the State Administration of Religious Affairs, the long-standing demand by Confucians was “a natural development.”

Speaking on the sidelines of a Taoist forum in Xian, Mr Qi said he was glad to hear that Confucians in the former British colony might soon have a public holiday to celebrate their figurehead's birthday—on par with the Territory’s Christians and Buddhists.

The Confucian Academy in Hong Kong, led by its president Tong Yun-kai, has been pushing the plan, which includes the proposed construction of a Confucian temple in Wong Tai Sin.