National Day evening gala warms up with song I Love China

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The grand National Day evening gala on Tian'anmen Square warmed up when about 60,000 people began dancing to the popular song "I Love China" Thursday evening.

At the center of the square, about 4,000 performers in a huge formation waved large peony bouquets and formed Chinese knots. When music changed, flowers and knots were suddenly replaced by an ocean of red ribbons.

In Chinese culture, peony is a symbol of prosperity and Chinese knots an auspicious gift of blessing and unity. Red ribbons are widely used at celebrations.

At the southern end of the square, behind a 1,000-member chorus, a 90-meter-long, 25-meter-high screen-like installation was set up for firework display.

There will be three pieces of firework drawings on the installation during the gala -- gunpowder was arranged on thousands of spots on the screen and they would be lighted in a preset order to "draw" pictures.

The "drawings" showed the beautiful landscape of China. Sun, mountains and a waterfall appeared on the screen one by one.

"The fireworks at the evening gala is more varied than any previous National Day gala," said Cai Guoqiang, the firework designer.

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