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Celebrated every September 29, Confucius Day honors one of the world’s greatest philosophers hailing from ancient China. Check out some of our favorite facts about Confucius below!

Who is Confucius?

Born in China on October 18, 551 B.C., Confucius is one of the earliest, arguably the first great philosopher. He was also a teacher, a scholar, and a politician. He gave the world many teachings and famous sayings, though many of the quotes that follow a ‘Confucius Says’ joke in popular culture are not direct quotes from the philosopher.

Biography

Confucian philosophy has received renewed attention as a model for ethical living in a global community. Many teachings, like “Do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself,” are recorded in dialogs called The Analects. Confucius’s praise of civil service led to the creation of a civil service exam during Han dynasty around 200 BC to select government officials through testing. Mao Zedong’s regime embraced this practice during the Great Leap Forward, beginning in 1958. Civil service exams continue in China and have been adopted in many countries, including the United States.

According to most records, Confucius was born under the Chinese zodiac of the dog. Biographer Sima Qian credits this for Confucius having a sad dog face and often appearing rough, like a stray dog.

Anecdote

According to most records, Confucius was born under the Chinese zodiac of the dog. Biographer Sima Qian credits this for Confucius having a sad dog face and often appearing rough, like a stray dog.

Quotes Confucius Actually DID Say

  • “The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential… these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.”
  • “The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential… these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.”
  • “Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.”
  • “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”
  • “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.”
  • “Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.”

Chinese Philosopher | Teacher | Politician

Below is a Bio Card you’ll find within our Social Studies course. Click the card for a fun educational experience to keep your new knowledge of Confucius front of mind.

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