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Establishment of the modern Confucius Ceremony

Confucian sacrifices have been carried out regularly since the Han dynasty (206 B.C. - A.D. 220) with rites that have gained in solemnity. The sacrifices took place in Qu Fu, the imperial capital and at regional centers. The titles attributed to Confucius have also advanced with the times. Posthumously awarded the title "Supreme Teacher" in A.D. 1, Confucius gained increasing recognition throughout the ages, and in A.D. 739 received the title "Prince of Culture".
Confucian rites were developed over time to embrace sacrifices to Confucius' disciples and other Confucian worthies. The sacrifice to Confucius himself is known as the "Principal Consecration", while that to the others is termed the "Secondary Consecration".
In contrast to earlier periods when Confucian sacrifices were held with absolute regularity in strict conformity with the rites, the unstable conditions which prevailed at the end of the imperial era at the turn of the twentieth century and which persisted into the Republican era resulted in sacrificial ceremonies being held less frequently. In 1968, however, at the direction of President Chiang Kai-shek, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of the Interior formed a commission of scholars and experts which was divided into four units. Under the supervision of Yu Fang-Hao, Wang Yu-ch'ing, Chuang Pen-li and K'ung Te-ch'eng, the commission was responsible for conducting research into the ceremony's ritual procedure, costumes, ritual utensils, music and dance. With the re-establishment of proper ceremonial rites, a trial ceremony was held at the Confucius temple in Taipei and, finally, in 1970, after two further years of investigations and improvements, the official rites were formally implemented by the Ministry of the Interior.
But because the full ceremony took 90 minutes to perform, the council of the Confucius Temple in Taipei, with the approval of the Ministry of the Interior, decided to make the ceremony more appropriate for the times. After making changes over a two-year period, a ceremony which lasted 60 minutes was decided upon. This short version of the ceremony has been in use ever since.