Ancestor of all Chinese honored

Updated: 2012-04-05 13:16

By Ma Lie in Xi'an

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Ancestor of all Chinese honored

Dancers perform during a ceremony to honor Huangdi, the Yellow Emperor, in Huangling county of Northwest China's Shaanxi province on Wednesday. Huangdi, a legendary hero living about 5,000 years ago, is considered to be the ancestor of the Chinese nation. Liu Xiao / Xinhua

Nearly 20,000 people from around the world gathered in front of the mausoleum for Huangdi, the Yellow Emperor, to pay their respects to the emperor believed to be ancestor of all Han Chinese.

Yellow flags and a long dragon fluttered before his mausoleum on Qiaoshan Mountain, Huangling county of Yan'an city, Shaanxi province, as the ceremony started with pounding from dozens of large drums.

Zhao Zhengyong, governor of Shaanxi, read the elegiac address in ancient Chinese prose.

"Today, Tomb Sweeping Day, sons and daughters of the Chinese nation hold the memorial ceremony for our ancestor Yellow Emperor, who began the Chinese civilization Chinese civilization has a long history and the nation's revival needs our hard work," the governor said.

Zhao said that the reunification of the Chinese nation is a hope for Chinese all over the world.

Yok Mu-ming, chairman of Taiwan's New Party, presented a flower basket at a statue of Huangdi on behalf of Taiwan compatriots.

The yearly gathering coincided with Tomb Sweeping Day, when people burn incense and put flowers on tombs honor ancestors.

As part of Wednesday's rituals, 550 actors and college students performed a worship dance.

On Tuesday, Taiwan's leader Ma Ying-jeou led a group of officials at a ceremony at Taipei Yuanshan Martyr's Shrine for soldiers to honor Huangdi, stressing that the core values of Chinese culture have always been part of the virtues of the people in Taiwan.

The Yellow Emperor, born in Xinzheng, Central China's Henan province, about 5,000 years ago, has been recognized as the earliest leader to unite China and create the Chinese civilization. His deeds have been embellished with time - he has been credited with introducing the systems of government and law to humankind, civilizing the Earth, teaching people many skills and inventing all manner of items.

China has commemorated the Yellow Emperor since the Spring and Autumn Period around 8 BC.

Chinese usually call themselves "sons and grandsons of the emperors of Huangdi and Yandi." Yandi, or Emperor Yan, is one of the earliest ancestors of the Chinese.

Xinhua contributed to this story.

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