Flag Raising Ceremony in Tiananmen
North of Tan’anmen Square stands the flagpole of the national flag.Every morning, when the sun is about to rise, a specially battalion(guards of honour)of the People’s Liberation Army(PLA) troops marches out of Tian’anmen Gate to the Square and raises the flag (time: 2 minutes and 7 seconds) exactly at sunrise(there are 138 parade steps from Tian’anmen Gate to the national flag-pole).A very interesting thing to do in Tian’anmen Square is to watch the national flag raising ceremony while listening to the national anthem at sunrise if you travel to china.
Exact times for sunrise and sunset are posted next to the flagpole in red, digital numbers. This is the perfect activity for visitors who have come to Beijing for the first time. Hundreds of thousands of spectators both from home and abroad gather around the flagpole and watch this solemn ceremony. On holidays and special occasions the Square is filled with flower arrangements and fountains. It is meaningful and unforgettable for Chinese and overseas visitors to take part in such an event.
Reconstruction of flagpole started in February 25, 1991 and was completed on May 1, 1999. The designed foundation of the flagpole has three rings of plane,covering an area of 36 square meters. The 6-square-meter inner ring is used as foundation stone, which is made of white marble. There are four two meter-wide entry and exit passages in four directions. The flagpole is made of seamless steel tube,which is made of white marble.There are four two-meter wide entry and exit passages in four direction.The flagpole is made of seamless steel tube,which was manufactured by by the Capital Iron and Steel Company. The pole is made of four segments, weighing 7 tons with 32.6 meters long. After special treatment, it won’t be corroded by rust within 20 years.
PLA’s Guard of honour
A total of 151 soldiers stand like statues, waiting to be inspected by a visiting state leader in the center of Tian’anmen Square. When the Guard of Honour of the three services of the people’s Liberation Army(PLA)moves, the earth seems to shake, and a cloud of dust rises from the ground as every step is perfect timed. When they pause, their uniforms are soaked, yet their grasp of the 3.5 kilogram bayonet rifle remains tight. Though it lasts only 10 minutes, the ceremony by the Guard of Honour is the country’s highest honour for visiting world leaders.
Wearing dress uniforms in green, blue and white, they represent the three military services the army, navy and air force. During the ceremony, he guards must walk exactly 116 footsteps every minute. Each footstep must be exactly 75 centimetres long and exactly 30 centimetres off the ground.
Since its founding in 1952, the Guard of Honour has created a record of more than 1,000 flawless performances. Today the Guard shoulders more frequent and more important ceremonial duties thanks to sound diplomatic relations between China and other countries.