National Day floral exhibits rethought

Updated: 2014-09-17 07:07

By Zhang Yi(China Daily)

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Austerity rules guiding National Day festivities in Beijing have had gardeners racking their brains to come up with appropriate floral displays in Tian'anmen Square and elsewhere.

For almost three decades, ornate floral displays have been a key feature of the festivities marking the anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on Oct 1.

The country's "core socialist values" and the "Chinese dream" have been adopted as the main themes for this year's displays, the Beijing Bureau of Landscape and Forestry said on Tuesday.

Core socialist values - defined as prosperity, democracy, civility, harmony, freedom, equality, justice, the rule of law, patriotism, dedication, integrity and friendship - will be depicted on a wall of flowers at the start of Chang'an Avenue, the 10-lane road between Tian'anmen gate and northern Tian'anmen Square.

The new doctrine has been encouraged by the Communist Party of China since its 18th Party Congress in late 2012. It has evolved into a campaign to rebuild ideals amid concerns by some that the nation has lost its moral compass even as it has pressed ahead with unprecedented economic growth.

In Tian'anmen Square, the Chinese characters for the "Chinese dream" will feature on the base of a huge red receptacle, on top of which will be a floral arrangement 50 meters in diameter and 15 meters high, comprising peonies, magnolias, hibiscuses and Chinese roses.

Jie Jun, a bureau director, said the scale of the floral display will not exceed that of last year. Most flowers will be on public display and will not be allowed in government compounds.

"The materials used in the display as well as the flowers will be recycled," he said.

The bureau said 250,000 flowerpots will be placed along Chang'an Avenue, and 10 landscapes featuring plants will be placed at major landmarks. The 120 varieties of flowers, including many from overseas, will be preserved for more than two months until the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Beijing in November.

A working group handlingthe capital's National Day festivities last week announced the principle of "grandeur and thrift" for this year's celebration, saying the CPC Central Committee hopes more people will take part in the celebration, using resources in a thrifty manner and safely.

The bureau declined to say how much this year's display will cost. Last year's display cost 20 million yuan ($3.25 million). Designers and those arranging and installing the flowers have been doing their utmost to ensure the displays do not cost too much and respect the environment, it said.