In the history of Chinese education, Confucius is a paragon of all teachers, symbolizing the philosophy of “Educate all without discrimination, and teach according to the abilities of ones students.” Using the six arts of rites, music, archery, chariot driving, learning (including reading and writing), and mathematics, Confucius had more than three thousand disciples during his lifetime. In practice of his credo, the Sage never refused a student because of his class or character, requiring only that his pupils possess a sincere desire to learn.
During the crisis of the Spring and Autumn Period, Confucius sought to end the chaos of the times. Believing this disorder to be a reflection of declining morals in society, he exhaustively toured the various warring Chinese states to advise rulers and officials on the merits of ethical rule. In his later years, Confucius reorganized the ancient texts, thus laying a solid foundation for China’s enduring civilization. In 1939 the Ministry of Education pronounced that Confucius’ birthday would be celebrated on August 28, and designated it as Teachers’ Day as well as a national holiday to remember Confucius’ enormous contribution to Chinese culture and society. The date was changed to September 28 in 1952 in accordance with chronologists’ new findings. Today, Teachers’ Day not only commemorates China’s foremost teacher in history but also honors all teachers for their hard work during the year.
Every year during Teachers’ Day, the Confucius Memorial Service is solemnly held at the Confucius Temple to show respect and honor for the Sage. At the “Teachers Day Celebration” held by the Ministry of Education and the various local governments, teachers with the highest seniority and best qualities are recognized for their conttribution to society.