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National holidays sees China rejoice
Updated: 2004-10-01 00:56

Hundreds of children dressed in their holiday best are to sing and dance in a grand variety show this morning in the Zhongshan Park in Beijing.

Performers representing the country's 56 ethnic groups -- all attired in their traditional costumes -- are staging a gala show at the Chinese Nationalities Theme Park in Beijing.

The parks are two of five sites in the capital where people enjoy excellent cultural performances and taste various local snacks through the National Day holiday. The others are the Baihai Park, the Working People's Culture Palace, and the Tiantan Park.

Also known as "Golden Week," the National Day holiday week, along with the past week, will certainly turn out to be two of the most lively weeks this year for the Chinese. The country has just celebrated the Mid-Autumn Festival on Tuesday (the 15th day of the eighth month of Chinese lunar calendar).

As a result, various tour festivals and cultural events are being held, not only in downtown Beijing, but also on the outskirts of the capital, which are trying to attract urban residents to the countryside.

Earlier on September 20, the Seventh Beijing International Tourism Culture Festival was launched and will run through this week.

The festival, featuring 37 performing troupes from 26 countries and regions and eight Chinese troupes with nearly 3,000 performers, staged a grand parade in front of the new Tower of Yongdingmen Gate last Saturday.

It attracted thousands of visitors from home and abroad and helped create a strong festival atmosphere just before the "Golden Week."

The festivities are nationwide. In Nanjing, the capital of East China's Jiangsu Province, 800 children attended to a drum-playing competition last week to greet the holiday by their drum music.

In Shanghai, a dragon boat race was held on the Suzhou River last week to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day.

On September 25 and 26, people queued in front of Laodafang Food Store from as early as 4:30 in the morning to wait for it to open at 8:00 o'clock so as to buy its famous fresh-meat moon cakes.

To satisfy the need of customers, more than 20 workers on two shifts made cakes around the clock at the 100-year old store in the week before the festival. During the week before the festival, around 50,000 moon cakes were sold everyday.

In the evening of the Mid-Autumn Festival, Hangzhou held a party to entertain over 100 foreigners who work, study and live in the capital of East China's Zhejiang Province.

People from Guangzhou, capital of South China's Guangdong Province, flocked into Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street for the annual Mid-Autumn Festival lantern show.

A Taiwanese dweller chose a more special way to celebrate the traditional festival.

Gao Jingyu, 56, started his 2,724-kilometre long journey in September 24 by biking from Xiamen, East China's Fujian Province, to Beijing. The theme of his journey is to trace Chinese culture.

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