BEIJING, Sept. 15 -- About 40 million potted flowers are decorating the streets of Beijing beginning today as the capital prepares for the upcoming National Day Celebration honoring the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.
The same number of flowers decorated Beijing for last year's Olympics and Paralympics. As of today, the Beijing Municipality has set up about 5 million flowers along the east-west axis of Chang'an Avenue alone, said Zheng Jianzhong, head of security for Dongdan road.
No main flower parterres, a staple of National Day decorations since 1986, will be on Tian'anmen Square because of the military parade on Oct 1, but 22 large-scale solid parterres will be set up along the Chang'an Avenue, the China Central Television has reported.
The Beijing Olympics and Paralympics proved a "big help" in gearing up for this year's National Day, said officers with the State-owned Beijing Flowers & Trees Corp, the primary provider and decorator of the flowers along the avenue since 1986.
The flowers picked up for the 2008 sports gala complemented this year's selections, which include Australian windmill grass and Argyranthemum frutescens, an anonymous officer with the company told the Beijing Times.
Many of the potted flowers along Chang'an Avenue, which were planted in the company's three labs around suburban Beijing, were chosen from the millions of flowers the company planted this summer, the officer said.
The flowers around the 440,000 sq m Tian'anmen Square are being guarded by professional security personnel on 24-hour shifts. Furthermore, the 350 workers from the Beijing Flowers & Trees Corp who are responsible for transporting the flowers to Chang'an Avenue will each go through cautious "political inspections", according to the Beijing Times report.
Across Beijing, residents, such as those from the Laoshan neighborhood, have showcased their patriotism by placing homegrown flowers around the block.
Aside from the flowers, workers with the Beijing Jinggong Red Flag factory, too, are busy making 2 million national flags for the upcoming celebrations.
A total of 54 mailboxes and 77 newspaper stands along the Chang'an Avenue have been relocated to prepare for the upcoming celebrations, Qianlong.com reported.
Depending on their locations, some of the hotels along the avenue will be either closed to the public or opened on a limited basis.
The Beijing Hotel, the Beijing News Plaza Hotel and the Beijing International Hotel, for example, will be closed to visitors between Sept 29 and Oct 2. The Minzu hotel, the China World Hotel, the Gloria Plaza Hotel and Hotel Sofitel Wanda Beijing, meanwhile, will close guest rooms that face Chang'an Avenue during the National Day celebrations.
Armed police in Beijing and the surrounding provinces of Hebei, Shanxi, Shandong and Liaoning, as well as Tianjin municipality and the Inner Mongolia autonomous region, will start night patrols beginning tonight, and continue them until the festivities are over.
(Source: China Daily)