By Greg Hugh, Staff Writer

October 1, 2009 is the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1949, and is celebrated as the National Holiday all over China. On this day back in 1949, the Chinese people, under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, declared victory in the War of Liberation. A grand ceremony was held at Tiananmen Square. At the ceremony, Mao Zedong, Chairman of the Central People's Government, solemnly declared the founding of P.R.C. and raised the first national flag of China in person and it was reported that over 300,000 soldiers and people gathered at the square for the grand parade and celebration procession.

In recent years, the Chinese Government extended the National Day Holiday to be a one week celebration, which is called the Golden Week. It is intended to help expand the domestic tourism industry and allow people time to make long-distance family visits. This is a period of greatly heightened travel activity. The other Golden Week is the Chinese New Year.

Despite hosting the Olympics only a year ago and the global financial crisis, one might question the justification for China to hold any kind of celebration or its desire to celebrate in a grand manner.  In response to these concerns, the government has scaled back the size and scope of its celebration but has still planned many significant events so that its citizens can celebrated the country’s accomplishments over the past 60 years.

It has been reported that Chinese citizens and government workers have been preparing for months for their upcoming celebration of the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on Oct.1. Parts of Beijing have been shut down several times, allowing for rehearsals of a once-in-a-decade military parade, multiple artistic performances and shows, fireworks and more. Security concerns are high as well, bringing out large details of security personnel and equipment.

Following are some of the events that will be taking place in major Chinese cities.

Beijing-Grand National Parade
The National Day Parade is an important component of the celebrations on the anniversary of the founding of People’s Republic of China. The celebrations are especially magnificent when the anniversary is a multiple of five (e.g. the 50th, the 55th, or the 60th).

At this 60th anniversary celebration, President Hu Jintao is expected to deliver a keynote speech and inspect the military parade at Tiananmen Square. After that, a massive pageant will follow.

Fireworks Display
Fireworks displays are usually held nationwide in all cities, including Hong Kong and Macau, since their return to China respectively in 1997 and 1999. On the evening of Oct. 1, a gala themed “Praising our motherland and our times, and raising Chinese people's spirits” will be staged at the Tiananmen Square, featuring a large-scale fireworks display and splendid performances. About 100,000 citizens will participate in the gala.

Other Activities
In mid to late September, an exhibition named “60 splendid years--China’s achievements over the past 60 years” will be held at Beijing Exhibition Center.

In late September, a grand musical, “Road to Revival”, was staged at the Great Hall of the People. The show combines singing, dancing, orchestra performance, recitals, plays, opera and multimedia. It illustrates how the Chinese people fought for national independence, searched for a road towards revival, and showcases the tremendous development China has made since the Opening-Up and Reform in the late 1970s.

From Oct. 1 through 3, major parks and public green spaces in Beijing will host parties and activities to celebrate National Day.

On Oct. 5 and 6, there will be a National Day Concert at the National Theater when Chinese and world famous masterpieces will be performed.

On the evening of Sept. 30, the 5th Shanghai International Music Fireworks Festival will kick off and present firework displays at Century Park.

National Day Concert will be staged at Shanghai Oriental Art Center, at 7:30 p.m., Oct. 1. People will enjoy a brilliant performance of China’s musical masterpieces.

Hong Kong
Fireworks display has been held in Hong Kong since 1997. This year, at 8 p.m. on Oct. 1, the glittering fireworks, accompanied by the amazing sound and light extravaganza, will be displayed over the Victoria Harbor in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.

People will watch a major National Day fireworks display at Pazhou and White Goose Pond (Bai E Tan) sections of the Pearl River. The display is expected to last about 30 minutes, starting at 8:30 p.m., Oct. 1. This year’s display will be the most elaborate one in recent years.

There is no doubt that the PRC has made tremendous progress during its 60 years of existence and most notably really during the past 10 years of economic growth.  Such was clearly demonstrated by the 2008 Olympics extravaganza as will the Shanghai Expo next year be similarly dazzling.  The 60th anniversary celebration will also no doubt be impressive with its awesome display of prowess in many sectors which may cause concern in some quarters, but everyone is entitled to their time in the limelight, especially when they have earned it.

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