BEIJING, Oct. 1 (Xinhua) -- China is to hold a National Day military and mass parade as well as an evening gala on Tian'anmen Square Thursday to mark the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China (PRC).
Following will be highlights of the once-in-a-decade grand celebrations:
-- Chinese leaders, including President Hu Jintao, will be on Tian'anmen Rostrum to observe the parade.
-- President Hu is to review line-ups of the tri-service People's Liberation Army (PLA), standing in an open-top home-made Red Flag limousine.
-- National flag raising ceremony will be held on Tian'anmen Square.
-- Military parade is expected to involve more than 8,000 people, and a total of 52 types of new weapon systems, including the PLA's missiles, airborne early warning and control aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles and other sophisticated military hardware, will be shown.
-- Military paraders will march goose-step through the square in new-style uniforms initiated in 2007.
-- Women militia soldiers in purple skirts will march goose-step through Tian'anmen Square, holding submachine guns. The formation will be led by two models who used to be good at cat walking.
-- Snow Leopard armed police unit, which took charge of security of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, will be shown at the National Day parade.
-- Sixteen female fighter pilots, the country's first batch, are expected to make a debut in a fly-past at the parade.
-- Civilian formations will march through Tian'anmen Square, showcasing panoramic achievements China has made over the past sixdecades. The mass parade will feature dozens of floats themed with, for instance, the Beijing Olympics and the devastating Wenchuan earthquake in southwestern Sichuan last year.
-- Improved relations between the mainland and Taiwan will be showcased at the parade.
-- China's agriculture scientist, Yuan Longping, will wave his iconic invention of "super hybrid rice" atop of an agriculture-themed float, escorted by farmers.
-- China's first astronaut Yang Liwei and first space walker Zhai Zhigang will show up on a float along with four other colleagues that have entered the space aboard Shenzhou series of spaceships since 2003.
-- Hurdler Liu Xiang and diving diva Guo Jingjing will stand ona float to show the achievements in sports. Chinese athletes reaped 51 gold medals in the Beijing Olympics, ranking the first in the gold medal list.
-- About 60,000 people will dance to the song "I Love China" at the grandiose National Day evening gala, showcasing the country's ethnic harmony and development.
-- Fireworks, designed by renowned Chinese artist Cai Guoqiang who masterminded the firework display at the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games, will dazzle the night of the National Day.
-- About 4,000 performers will form a "light cubic" formation in the center of Tian'anmen Square at the gala. They will hold bouquets and electric devices to form different light patterns to the tunes of music.