Every country has its own unique legends, so does China. As one of the representative figures of Chinese culture, the Yellow Emperor is regarded as the ancestor of Chinese civilization, who guided Chinese people from barbarism to civilized age.
Zhengzhou of Henan Province is the hometown of the Yellow Emperor. As one of the oldest cities in China, Zhengzhou is also a metropolis connecting Central China with the world. It has 8,000 years of Peiligang Culture, 5,000 years of Huangdi Culture and 2,700 years of Zhenghan Culture. Since the beginning of the 21st century, the annual grand ancestor worship ceremony, held in Zhengzhou to commemorate the Yellow Emperor, has become a holy tradition for billions of Chinese people to worship their ancestors.
For more than a decade, it has helped Zhengzhou to stand out and become the focus of overseas attention, attracting more than one million Chinese people from home and abroad who seek for their roots to visit this city: an important place of origin of Chinese culture and history.
The Yellow Emperor is the humanistic primogenitor of Chinese people. He is considered to be the first leader to unify the Chinese nation and the forerunner of ancient civilization in China. He planted hundreds of grasses, created words, made clothing, built boats and carts, determined numbers and computation, set temperament, initiated medicine, and etc.. By legend, he is said to be the co-lord of Chinese people in ancient times and the head of the Five Emperors.
Chinese tradition values the worship of ancestors and respect for their wisdom. In western mythology, fire is given by God. In Greek mythology, fire was stolen by Prometheus. But in Chinese culture, fire was made by means of drilling wood firmly and indomitably by their ancestors.
Putting the plot aside and getting the cultural core of the myth, Chinese people worship their ancestors to show their respect for the ancestors' wisdom, and to carry forward the spirit of self-improvement of mankind.
Every civilization is theistic in its early days, but the ancestors of Chinese people did not place their hopes for survival in God's favor, and they believed in their own efforts and wisdom.
It begins with the belief that "a person's body is nurtured and affected by his or her parents."
People root in things, and things come from heaven and earth. Nature has provided humans with food and clothing, and our ancestors have given life. Therefore, humans should show gratitude, and hold sacred and solemn ceremonies to educate people and set social regulations to restrain people.
Ancestor worship ceremony is a very special cultural activity in China. The Yellow Emperor's birthday falls on the third day of the third lunar month. On that day, people wear costumes decorated with their last names to worship their ancestors. There are many activities on the agenda, such as firing salutes, presenting flower baskets, cleaning hands, burning incense, praying, delivering oration, dancing accompanied by music, praying for heaven, earth, people and harmony.
April 7, 2019, is the third day of the third lunar month of this year. The ceremony of worshipping the Yellow Emperor has already come into countdown stage, a scene of excitement will appear in Zhengzhou city, and people gathering here will witness the grand occasion again.