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Qufu Travel | Hometown of Confucius

Qufu, as Chinese cultural and historical city, is the cradle of Chinese ancient emperors in politics and ideology. It is the old capital of the Yin and Shang Dynasties, the capital of Lu Kingdom in the Zhou Dynasty. It is also famous as the birthplace of Confucius who was the most celebrated ideologist, politician, educationist, and the initiator of Confucianism in later Spring and Autumn Period. Its time-honored history and civilization as well as gorgeous oriental culture make it world-widely popular. Qufu was always thought of as the holy land in China's long feudalistic society. Nowadays, it is also called Oriental Jerusalem by many westerners.
ancient city wall of Qufu
【Confucius】Confucius is connected with dragon. Dragon in China is always moving forward following the syncretism of god and human, and dragon in China is generally considered as a mysterious symbol constituted of fish, crocodile, deer, eagle and snakes together with cloud, rainbow, thundering and lightning. At that time, Confucius thought of Laozi, the founder of Taoism, as dragon. It was said that he paid a special visit to Laozi in Luoyi. After he came back, he was excited at shouting: I see the dragon! That is right, Laozi's expression and deep thought on life indeed let he look like a dragon.

It is said that there were two dragons falling off from the heaven and landed on the roof of house where his mother lived, when Confucius was born at night. Two goddesses also flied down to give bath to this sage. Generally it is understandable that many writers make use of the dragons to enhance the inviolability and holiness of celebrities. Chinese emperors won't give up any chance to show their particularity by virtue of auspicious omen and uncommon phenomena. Confucius temples and palaces are also decorated with the dragon pictures or sculptures.

Diversity of historical and cultural sites and relics are also easily found, many celebrities houses and tombs are also available. Among these rich historical and humanistic resources, Confucius' Temple, Confucius' Mansion and Confucius' Cemetry are the most attractive and worthy places to see. 

【Attractions】Qufu has 112 important cultural sites in the protection list. There are 4 sites under the state-level protection, 12 sites under the province-level protection. Confucius Temple known as Chinese Art Gallery of Calligraphy, Confucius Mansion known as the First Family on Earth as well as Confucius Cemetery known as world’s largest family mausoleum have been listed in World Historic and Cultural Heritage. Additionally, there are a lot of other attractions such as Shouqiu which is the birthplace of Yellow Emperor or Huangdi, Shaohao Mausoleum boasting Chinese Pyramid, Houshengyan Temple, Yuanshengzhougong Temple, Ancient Architectural Complex in Nishan Mountain as well as Han-Dynasty Tomb Group in Jiulong Mountain. The newly-established Six-Art Town or Liuyicheng, The Stele Garden of The Analects, Essence Garden of Confucianism and others are all welcomed at present.

Some local unique souvenirs such as Nishan Inkstone, Calligraphy Book of Stele and Woodcarving are popular among tourists. Annually, Chinese Qufu Confucius Culture Festival is held from September 26 to October 10. Especially, the local food is also well-known and an essential part of Shandong Cuisine. The most famous representative is Kongfuyan or Confucius Mansion Banquet. This high-level banquet was especially prepared for welcoming distinguished guests, birthday ceremony, succession ceremony of eupatrid, wedding ceremony and funereal gathering. After hundreds of gradual succession and development, it has become a unique style of cuisine. Surely, Dim-sum of Confucius Mansion is also time-honored and special. Anciently the food of Confucius Mansion is exclusive and rare in commoner’s life.

【Traditions】Laba Porridge is highlighted in local annual life. Making porridge needs a lot of people. Different people take charge of different tasks such as washing rice, making fire, setting up the boiler. And the boiled rice is kept in lots of big jars. Laba Porridge has two kinds: one is not made elaborately for the mansion servants. In the porridge, the ingredients include: rice, meat slice, vegetable, bean-curd and others. When eating, the eaters are given some steamed bun. The other is made of many rare ingredients such as lotus, Chinese date, lily, chestnut, red cowpea, longan and others. Besides, in porridge, some haw-made carvings are available. The porridge is only eaten by the family members or for sacrificing to their ancestors. There used to be the Buddhist Hall with tens of thousands of Buddha Statues, on this day, each statue would be served with a bowl of porridge.

Zhengzhuang(蒸壮) is the most significant occasion during the spring-festival preparation in Confucius Mansion. A large number of special steamed bread, baozi, confection and cakes as well as dim sums are made for lunar spring festival. On New Year's Eve, Jiaozi or Dumpling is made all night long. In mansion, every corner would be decorated and lightened. Carpet would be spread and sandalwood powder would be lightened. Adults give children lucky money which used to be enclosed in the red paper pocket, and on the paper pocket, four Chinese characters” 长命百岁” are written for giving children a life-long greeting. Beside children’s pillow, there used to be a food box made of cloisonné, and in the box, some food is specially kept for a lucky new years. On the eve, the successor of Confucius would sacrifice to an old Immortality with white beard in Anhuai Hall. It is said that all the ghosts and eidolons are mastered by this god. Certainly, there are a lot of customs in different times and seasons, but they are all strongly featured by Confucius and his thoughts.
landscape of Qufu landscape of Qufu
In sage's birthplace, tricycle is also different from it in other places. Drivers generally sit before passengers, but it is absolutely opposite in Qufu. The passengers sit before the drivers, so it seems like a forklift. There is not folding screen before the vehicles, so anything surrounding it is truly available. It will be better if the driver can be able to act as a guide to introduce much more about this city and its characteristics.

【Climate】: It is mainly affected by warm temperate continental monsoon climate. Four seasons are easily differentiated. It has sunshine of 2433.3 hours annually and frost-free period 199 days. Average annual temperature is 13.6 C; and average annual precipitation is 666.3 mm.

【Transportation】: National highways 104 and 327 cross Qufu respectively. It is only 15 kilometers from Yanzhou train station. Beijing and Tianjin are both available in the north, Shanghai and Fuzhou in south. It does not have its own airport. But it is near to Jinan Airport and Kwan-yin Airport. The railway in Qufu is much too convenient, and there are 9 train stops. But it is not a big and important city in geography, so trains suspend here for a short time.

【Geography】: Qufu locates in the southwest of Shandong Province, and it is roughly 160 kilometers afar from Jinan, the provincial capital of Shandong Province. It lies at the east of Yimeng Mountains, south of Huaihai Sea, west of Yanzhou and north of Tai Mountain.


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