China celebrates National Day with jubilation and hope

China is expected to see 190 million railway trips during the 12-day travel rush, which lasts from Sept. 27 to Oct. 8, according to statistics. 

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People visit the Tian'anmen Square after a flag-raising ceremony to celebrate the 74th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China in Beijing, capital of China, Oct. 1, 2023. (Xinhua/Ju Huanzong)

Early on Sunday morning, amid the pleasant autumn breeze, some 302,000 people gathered at Tian’anmen Square in downtown Beijing to witness the grand national flag-raising ceremony to mark the 74th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.

In the square stands an 18-meter-tall flower basket, a prominent feature of the recently installed floral displays, designed to enhance the festive ambiance, with flower decorations covering a total area of 5,050 square meters adorning the surroundings of the square.

Gao Yuqing, a student from Tianjin University of Technology and Education, attended the ceremony at Tian’anmen Square for the first time.

“When the national flag was hoisted, accompanied by the national anthem, tears welled up in my eyes,” she said, expressing her aspiration to become a dedicated teacher in the future.

“I arrived in Beijing many days in advance for a sightseeing tour, and what I looked forward to the most was watching the flag-raising ceremony on the National Day,” said Luo Liuzeng, a tourist from central China’s Henan Province, who also attended the ceremony.

Sharing about his personal life, Luo, aged 74, said that his quality of life has significantly improved in recent years due to successful corn and soybean harvests, resulting in increased income.

Across the country, the National Day is celebrated in diverse ways, including participating in festive activities, visiting exhibitions and welcoming tourists.

Gao Zhiqian, who hails from Gaoxigou Village in northwest China’s Shaanxi Province, was taking a stroll near his village on Sunday. As he stood on the newly constructed pathway on Longtou Mountain near the village, watching tourists enjoy themselves on the hills adorned with vibrant green vegetation, he couldn’t help but feel joyous that the once arid and desolate village has transformed into a popular tourist destination.

“With the ecological environment getting better, lucid waters and lush mountains have become ‘golden treasures,'” said Gao Zhiqian, who is a former village cadre. “Our village is becoming more beautiful, our wallets are getting fatter and the road to prosperity is widening.”

China is currently in the midst of its “golden week” holiday, which includes the Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day holiday, lasting from Sept. 29 to Oct. 6. While many Chinese people are relishing an eight-day break for travel and leisure, some are working to ensure the seamless travel experiences of tourists.

Among them is Guo Jianjun, an electrical worker from the power supply company of Xianning City under the State Grid Hubei Electric Power Co., Ltd., which is located in central China’s Hubei Province.

At about 7 a.m. on Sunday, Guo and his colleagues prepared their equipment and commenced their work to ensure a smooth power supply for the high-speed railway.

“Currently, it is the holiday travel peak. Ensuring the safety of the power supply of the railway will allow everyone to travel smoothly,” he said.

China is expected to see 190 million railway trips during the 12-day travel rush, which lasts from Sept. 27 to Oct. 8, according to statistics. 

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