Beijingers sweat it out during rehearsals for National Day parade
Tens of thousands of Beijing’s ordinary people have been preparing for months for the upcoming grand parade scheduled for October 1 in celebration of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
Some 100,000 people who will take part in the parade have been practicing in their work units and in larger groups at military parade training centers, participants told the Global Times on Thursday.
Some 60,000 residents will also take part in evening celebrations on the day. Many are government workers or students, who started practicing in July.
“We practice two or three times a week, during the day near where we work,” a participant who asked not to be named told the Global Times.
“Now that we’ve learned what we’re supposed to do, we’ve been taken to a location in the early mornings for more exercises since August,” he said.
The participant said a rehearsal lasted from late Tuesday night to early Wednesday morning at a military parade training center in Changping, Beijing’s northwestern suburban district.
The first full dress rehearsal is scheduled from Saturday to Sunday at Tiananmen Square. More dress rehearsals will be held in September.
“Practices are certainly very tiring as they often take place at midnight,” said another participant, who will carry a flag and march alongside festooned vehicles.
“It takes a lot of time and stamina. The organizers even gave us adult diapers because we do not have time to go to the toilet during practice,” he said.
A third participant said everyone in his group was proud to represent the country in the parade. “We’re very happy to get this opportunity to celebrate our motherland’s birthday in such a meaningful way.”
The grand parade will also include a military parade, where some advanced domestically made weapons will debut.