ĦĦĦĦXI'AN, April 5 (Xinhuanet) -- On this traditional
Chinese festival for visiting family graves, nearly 100,000 Chinese from all
over the world converged before the mausoleum of their common ancestor,Huangdi
(the Yellow Emperor).
ĦĦĦĦAmong them were high-ranking officials, a Tibetan Living Buddha,celebrities
from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR),delegations from the
Macao SAR and Taiwan Province, and many overseas Chinese.
ĦĦĦĦThe ceremony began with a 34-gun salute, representing China's 34 provinces,
municipalities, autonomous regions and special administrative regions.
ĦĦĦĦThe crowd, ranging from the elderly to toddlers, all bowed to the image of
their ancestor and contributed flowers and sacrificial donations.
ĦĦĦĦA Chinese-Filipino, Yang Shiliang, said that overseas Chinese are
fascinated by China's opening up and growth, and are eager to seek their roots.
Most of the 19 members of the Philippine delegation had come to China for the
first time, specially to visit the Huangdi Mausoleum.
Another Chinese-Filipino, Wu Jiansheng, said all people with Chinese origin are
connected with the same ancestors.
ĦĦĦĦWu cited a composition written by a Philippine middle school student, whose
mother was Taiwanese: "When we saw Beijing won the bidding for the 2008 Olympics
and He Zhenliang, the Chinese member on the International Olympic Committee's
executive board hugging his colleague from Taipei, all my family members were
moved to tears."
ĦĦĦĦMa Ronghua, from Taipei, capital of Taiwan Province, added, "We hope the
motherland will be reunited soon, for we are all offspring of the same
ancestors, Huangdi and Yandi (another legendary emperor of the Chinese
ĦĦĦĦLi Tieying, a member of the Political Bureau of the
Communist Party of China Central Committee, and Peng Peiyun, vice-chairman of
the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, are among those
attending the ceremony.
ĦĦĦĦAfter the ceremony, civil activities will be held spontaneously by
villagers and other delegations from different areas in China, which will
usually last for about four days.
Huangdi is regarded as the founder of the Chinese nation and
culture. The sacrificial ceremonies started in 442 BC. The largest ceremony was
held by Emperor Wudi of the Han Dynasty, with 180,000 people present.
ĦĦĦĦDuring the Chinese people's war of resistance against Japanese aggression,
the Communist Party of China and Kuomintang (Nationalist Party) jointly held
ceremonies in memory of their common ancestor and prayed for peace.
ĦĦĦĦFrom 1963 to 1978, the memorial ceremonies were called off, and were
resumed in 1979. In 1993, Chinese President Jiang Zemin wrote an inscription for
the Huangdi Mausoleum.
ĦĦĦĦTo meet the growing demand of Chinese both at home and
abroad, the Chinese government started a restoration project in 1992, and in the
same year set up a foundation to raise money for this project.
ĦĦĦĦSo far, donations from both at home and abroad have topped 70 million yuan
(about 8.43 million U.S. dollars) and the total the government has spent on the
restoration in recent years has reached 100 million yuan.
ĦĦĦĦA Chinese-Malaysian, Li Musheng, said, "I've visited the mausoleum 12
times, and today I saw the grandest ceremony ever, which can better show off
China's improved national strength and provide a center for Chinese across the
world to gather around." Enditem