The traditional date given for Confucius's birthday is September 28, 551 BC (BCE). This great Chinese philosopher's birthday is celebrated in Taiwan as Teachers' Day, because Confucius was a master educator; on this day many Taiwanese students bring their teachers flowers, cards, or small gifts.
Confucius was brought up in poverty by his hard-working mother after his warrior father died, but he ended up being one of the most influential thinkers and philosophers in the world.
Confucius encouraged his disciples (students or followers) to think deeply for themselves rather than just follow rules. He believed in the perfectibility of individuals and society.
Confucius taught one of the earliest known versions of what is known as the Golden Rule (long before Jesus lived and taught). Confucius's version is sometimes called the Silver Rule:
Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself.
More simply stated, “Don't do to others what you do not want done to yourself.”
Confucius taught a lot of philosophy—not just on matters of ethics, but also on politics and social organization.
Some people treat Confucianism as a religion, but others argue it is more of a life philosophy that can be combined with any or no religious tradition.
Learn more about Confucius!
Check out Kidipede or Kids Philosophy Slam. The latter includes some great quotes, discussion questions, and further links.