The fifth Beijing International Tourism and Cultural Festival kicked off in Beijing Saturday, with a carnival parade displaying headgear from 2,000 ethnic groups worldwide.
A total of 5,000 folk artists from 46 countries and regions participated in Saturday's parade along Ping'an Avenue, a major thoroughfare in downtown Beijing.
He Luli, vice-chairwoman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, and other distinguished guests, including foreign diplomats, attended Saturday's ceremony which attracted about 200,000 spectators.
With the theme of "The green Olympics and the people's Olympics ", the festival will present the city's achievements in its preparations for the 2008 Olympic Games.
During the three-day festival, other activities, such as artistic performances in Beijing's suburbs, schools and parks, photo shows, and a Sino-Japanese cultural week, will also be staged.
Beijing International Tourism and Cultural Festival was initiated in 1998.
(China Daily September 23, 2002)