National Day evening gala begins with spectacular fireworks

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A grand evening gala to celebrate New China's 60th founding anniversary started Thursday evening at the Tian'anmen Square when 60 birthday-candle-shaped fireworks exploded into the sky and lit up the vast square.

Red, pink, white and orange fireworks shot up into the night sky, lighting up the Tian'anmen Rostrum and 56 giant decorative columns, which were set up on the square to represent China's 56 ethnic groups.

That was the beginning of a 33-minute fireworks feast in the evening. Earlier this month, the Beijing Daily quoted pyrotechnist Ding Zhenkuan as saying that the display would send nearly 42,000 shells into the sky, doubling the number fired at the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony last August.

Following candle-shaped fireworks, a teenage boy, standing at the podium for the flag-raising ceremony, played with a trumpet the melody of the song of "My motherland".

As the boy was playing the trumpet, more than 4,000 performers gathering under the podium began to play the magic effects of more than 4,000 LED-light-equipped trees.

Vice director of the gala, Zhao Dongming, called the performance as "light cube", referring to the well-known Olympic architecture "Water Cube", or the National Aquatics Center. The building, equipped with LED lights, can put on various colors at night.

The performers of the "light cube" displayed a rolling effect of the 60 years from 1949, when the People's Republic of China was founded, to 2009. Fireworks meanwhile again shot up and exploded in the night sky, creating the Arabic numeral of "60," symbolizing New China's 60th birthday.

Seconds later, a fireworks-armed curtain, standing opposite to the Tian'anmen Rostrum, was ignited and began to explode. The exploding fireworks on the curtain -- 90 meters wide and 25 meters high -- created the sun, river, waterfall and mountains, representing the vast land of China.

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