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Confucianism Beliefs and Holidays

By: Jessica MousseauDiversity Insights
Confucianism Beliefs and Confucianism Holidays

Rooted in ancient Chinese philosophy, Confucianism has profoundly shaped Chinese culture. This ethical and moral belief system, based on the teachings of Confucius emphasizes morality, ethics, and overall good behavior. Confucius, a revered teacher and philosopher, remains one of the most important figures in China and his ideas are continuously followed today, especially in China, Korea, Japan, and Vietnam.

Important Confucianism Holidays

Confucius’s Birthday

Celebrated annually on September 28, this day celebrates the life of Confucius with a 60-minute performance that includes dancing and musical performances. The Grand Ceremony Dedicated to Confucius is a way to pay respect to China’s ”First Teacher.” While it’s mainly celebrated in Qufu, his birthplace, the Confucius Temple in Taiwan also honors him. It’s a time to reflect on Confucian teachings and the importance of being sincere and honest to all humans.

QingMing Festival

To honor the deceased, families decorate and sweep gravesites while burning incense during this ancient holiday. It’s been celebrated for over 2,500 years and aligns with the Confucian belief of piety to the ancestors. It takes place each year on the 15th day after the spring equinox.

Chongmyo Taeje

Celebrated on the first Sunday of May, this memorial ceremony honors all the royal family of the Yi Dynasty. Rites are performed annually to pay homage to the royal lineage. Many royal descendants wear traditional robes and take part in the celebration, which includes music and dance too.

Ching Ming Festival (Qingming Festival)

During this Spring season celebration, families visit the tombs of their ancestors to sweep and decorate their gravestones with flowers.

Final Thoughts

We hope that our list of important Confucian religious days is useful for you when considering inclusive scheduling. This allows these important days to be recognized so that all of your staff, regardless of the religion they follow, feel a sense of belonging.

In addition to this list of Confucian holidays, you can also explore our 2024 Interfaith Calendar which includes highlights of all major religious holidays and religious festivals throughout the year. To see all 200+ religious holidays, subscribe to our interactive DEI Calendar.


What are the main holidays of Confucianism?

The most important Confucianism holidays include the Ching Ming Festival, Confucius’ Birthday, and the National Day of Purification. These holidays not only honor Confucius and his teachings but also emphasize values such as piety, respect for ancestors, and the importance of rituals in maintaining social harmony. Participating in these observances allows followers to connect deeply with their cultural heritage and the principles of Confucianism.

What are the four major beliefs of Confucianism?

The core beliefs include harmony between humans, justice, respect for one’s elders, and loyalty to one’s family and friends. These principles guide personal conduct, social relations, and governance, reflecting Confucius’ vision for a harmonious society. The emphasis on ethical living and moral leadership continues to influence various aspects of life and governance in cultures around the world.

What are the traditions of Confucianism?

Confucianism believes in living a life where you do unto others what you would want done to you. This principle, often compared to the Golden Rule, highlights the importance of empathy and moral integrity in interpersonal relationships. Rituals, education, and reverence for ancestors are also central to Confucian tradition, shaping the cultural practices and societal structures in Confucian-influenced societies.

Do Confucians celebrate Christmas?

Followers in China do not officially celebrate Christmas. However, the global spread of cultural practices means that some Confucians might partake in Christmas festivities, blending cultural traditions in a way that reflects the interconnectedness of modern societies. The focus on family and community during Christmas can resonate with Confucian values, even if the holiday itself is not part of traditional Confucian observance.

What are the four main principles of Confucianism?

The Four Cardinal Principles are righteousness (義), integrity (廉),  propriety (禮) or shame (恥). These principles form the foundation of Confucian ethics, emphasizing the importance of moral character and social harmony. Adherence to these values is believed to lead to personal fulfillment and societal stability, illustrating Confucius’ holistic approach to individual and communal well-being.

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