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Thousands mark General Guan Yu's anniversary in Shanxi

CCTV.com

07-21-2014 19:34 BJT

Sunday marks the anniversary of General Guan Yu's birthday, who lived in the late Han dynasty over 1,800 years ago. Most famous for fighting during the Three Kingdoms period, Guan is presented in Chinese culture as the embodiment of loyalty, honor and strength. About 20,000 people gathered in his hometown of Yuncheng city, in Shanxi province, for a huge memorial ceremony.

Thousands crowded at the Guan Yu ancestral temple, which holds 300 enshrined statues of the famous general.

One of the worshippers present said that it was important to hold the memorial ceremony for Guan Yu in his hometown, for people to express their faith and help in passing down Chinese traditional culture.

Sunday marks the anniversary of General Guan Yu

Sunday marks the anniversary of General Guan Yu's birthday, who lived in the late Han dynasty over 1,800 years ago.

People have held these annual memorial ceremonies since Guan Yu's ancestral temple opened in 1998.

The memorials -- which attract increasing numbers of people every year -- have helped cement Guan Yu's place in Chinese folk religion, popular Confucianism, Taoism and Chinese Buddhism.

Guan Yu was a general who served under the warlord Liu Bei during the late Eastern Han Dynasty, in the 2nd and 3rd centuries. He played a significant role in the civil war that led to the collapse of the Han Dynasty and the establishment of the state of Shu Han during the Three Kingdoms period.

Guan was deified as early as the Sui Dynasty a few centuries later. Today, small shrines to Guan are found almost everywhere in traditional Chinese shops and restaurants.

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