HONG KONG, July 1 (Xinhua) -- A grand gala was staged in the Hong Kong Stadium on Sunday to mark the 15th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to the motherland, attracting an audience of about 40,000 local residents.
With the theme "New start, Go forward together," the gala held the audience spellbound with traditional dragon and lion dances, singing and dancing performance and parachute jumping shows in more than two hours.
The stadium was filled with whooping and clapping at the songs presented by Hong Kong fancy pop stars and artists such as Jackie Chan, Joey Yung and duo Twins.
A dozen of youngsters born on July 1, 1997, the date of Hong Kong's return from the British rule, joined the stars, singing in chorus the song "Under the Lion Rock", which symbolizes the Hong Kong spirit.
The gala culminated with the presentation of the last and best program -- the parachute jumping shows performed by the People's Liberation Army Parachute Brigade. Clapping and whooping blasted again and again among the audience as parachutists jumped from 1, 200 meters, mimicking "Golden dragons" flying down from the sky or forming interesting patterns with colored smoke against the blue sky.
The parachute brigade of the Chinese air force made its debut in Hong Kong in 2007 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the territory's return to the motherland.
A local woman surnamed Zheng, who watched the performance of the army parachutist five years ago, said "Today's performance is really exciting and perfect."
The gala is one of the celebrating festivals organized by local people of various sectors, and nearly 100,000 Hong Kong residents have participated in the celebrations, according to the Hong Kong Celebration Association.