Saturday, October 5, 2013

National Day at Tiananmen Square

October 1 is National Day in China. It marks the official founding of the People's Republic of China. Mao Zedong made the proclamation from the Tiananmen Gate just above where his portrait hangs today. One could say it is China's 4th of July  - to put it in American terms.

As you might imagine, large crowds are drawn to the square to take in this sights and, in particular, the flag raising and lowering ceremonies. There were reportedly 110,000 people at Tiananmen Square on Tuesday morning IN THE RAIN to observe the flag raising. The weather cleared very nicely in the afternoon and I braved the crowds to take these pictures.

The monument in the center of this picture is the Monument to the People's Heroes. It commemorates those who died in revolutionary struggles in the 19th and 20th centuries from the Opium Wars to the Chinese Civil War in 1949. You can learn more here. ---> Monument to the People's Heros

I mentioned this last year but, again, this is a portrait of Sun Yat-sen. Sun led the rebellion against the imperial Qing dynasty and is regarded as the founder of the Republic of China. He died of cancer at the young age of 58 and after his death the KMT and the Communists (under Mao's leadership) split and the Chinese Civil War started. One can't help but to wonder would would have happened in China if he had lived another 20 or 25 years.

The decorations are all flowers. They are pretty amazing. The government has actually cut back on the decorations some this year in order to reinforce other instructions to reduce the extravagance in government functions. Florists have reported huge drops in business over the last year.

Here is another view.

There are some pictures from last year at this link ---> Tiananmen Square 2012.

There is no telling how many electrons were spent taking photographs. The flower basket and Tiananmen Gate are very popular backdrops. I'm guessing these are visitors from out of town.

There are two huge LED boards with constantly changing scenes from around China.

Click to enlarge.

This is the National Museum on the east side of Tiananmen Square.

I mentioned last year that the police don't seem to have much of a sense of humor. On the other hand they seem to be pretty patient with the tourists wanting to pose with them.

These guys look a little junior compared to the guys near the bottom of  the National Day 2012 post.

More on the crowds in a later post but this is a picture inside the Tiananmen East subway station. I can't imagine what it was like when all those people decided to leave after the flag lowering ceremony. 

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