More than one million guests are expected to flood the Great Hall of the People this weekend for the 75th anniversary of the Communist Party of China’s founding.
The Grand Ceremony begins with a Mass and the Pledge of Allegiance at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday at Tiananmen Square, near Beijing’s famed Jade Dragon Gate. It will be followed by a ceremony featuring other major figures from China’s founding era as well as another Mass on the Great Hall of the People’s stage.
Three of the five members of the Politburo Standing Committee will participate in the anniversary festivities, a delegation of 40 members of the military.
Food will be served, dancing and singing to accompany patriotic songs, singing and dancing to accompany patriotic songs, and finally fireworks.
After the festivities wrap up, celebrants are given a stamp to wear on their pocket, commemorating the monthlong anniversary.
Popular on Chinese streets, the stamp resembles a stamp issued by the United States government in 1975 to mark President Gerald Ford’s first inauguration. However, China uses revolutionary poet Li Bai’s letter “We Will Follow the Party Forever” on its commemorative stamp.
The stamp is regularly used in Chinese marketplaces, featuring the character “jia jia” (自由坏) to emulate the official logo for the sale of Mao Zedong commemorative coins and stamps.
The stamp hasn’t come without controversy. In 2013, Yuan Yuzhu, a peasant from Henan, demanded his government get rid of a stamp featuring the scholar Song Lijian, called by some to be China’s first intellectual.
The 86-year-old Song devoted his life to the theory of Marxism-Leninism and the development of the Chinese Communist Party.
Others believe that the party’s celebration, which falls at a time when China is viewed differently than when the party was initially launched by Mao, could be a bit hypocritical.
“It’s OK for some people, but why do I have to stand for the celebration with about 1 million others?” said a spokesman for the Henan Federation of Human Rights Lawyers, China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group, in an interview with The New York Times.
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