The People’s Republic of China was founded October 1st, 1949 with a celebration at Tiananmen Square in Beijing. This year was the 60th anniversary and there was a lot of excitement building up to October 1st. We were advised to not travel the Beijing for National Day. Security in China was extremely tight because of the anniversary, supposedly residents along the parade route were warned to not step out on their balconies, for they may be shot. Beijing was expected to be impossible for foreigners (police checks every half block). That and the fear that a nationalistic riot could break out at any moment kept me away; some Japanese reporters were assaulted in their hotel room after they tried to cover a rehearsal session.
Because I was on a sleeper train to the Yunnan Province on October 1st, I completely missed the ceremony. But I found a short video of the parade that does some neat time lapse and slow motion tricks. There were two parades; the first a military parade in which China showcased its weapons and nuclear missiles and then a civilian’s parade with over 100,000 participants. The civilians parade’s floats had themes such as “progress of the motherland”, “scientific development”, “brilliant achievement” and “beautiful prosperous China.”