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Religious Reconfigurations in the People's Republic of China

Lijiao: The Return of Ceremonies Honouring Confucius in Mainland China

Sébastien Billioud and Joël Thoraval


Part of a larger project on the revival of Confucianism in Mainland China, this article explores the case of the Confucius ceremonies performed at the end of September each year in the city of Qufu, Shandong Province. In order to put things into perspective, it first traces the history of the cult at different periods of time. This is followed by a factual description of the events taking place during the so-called “Confucius festival,” which provides insight into the complexity of the issue and the variety of situations encountered. The contrast between the authorities and minjianConfucian revivalists, as well as their necessary interactions, ultimately illustrates the complex use and abuse of Confucius in post-Maoist China.

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Electronic reference

Sébastien Billioud and Joël Thoraval, « Lijiao: The Return of Ceremonies Honouring Confucius in Mainland China », China Perspectives [Online], 2009/4 | 2009, Online since 01 December 2012, connection on 22 January 2021. URL : ; DOI :

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Sébastien Billioud

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Joël Thoraval

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