Confucius tourist venues free to senior citizens

Tourist attractions in the eastern city of Qufu, including many associated with Confucius, are now free for citizens aged 60 or above, the local government said Monday.

The Temple, Family Mansion and Cemetery of Confucius (Kong Zi), which welcome four million visitors each year, are all now free to visit for senior citizens, together with a dozen others associated with Confucius and Mencius.

According to the city's cultural relics bureau, since the attractions became free to senior citizens on Jan. 1, 4,631 seniors have visited the sites.

The city also waived the entry fee for China's 15 million teachers wanting to visit the Confucius venues since the beginning of the year.

Born near the present-day town of Qufu, Confucius (551-479 BC) is believed to be the first person to set up private schools in China and enroll students from all walks of life.

Mencius (372-289 BC), or Meng Zi, was a pupil of Zi Si, grandson of Confucius. He spent his whole life expounding Confucianism.