I am always amazed by the variety of impressions that I hear from foreigners who have visited Tiananmen Square. My friend recently called a winter day’s visit “creepy”, while another said that it was an “uncomfortable place”, given the atrocities that occurred in June of 1989. On the other hand, others find it fascinating and few hours exploring the adjacent Forbidden City is is a must-do on any tourist’s agenda. Due to the Chinese government’s (fairly successful) effort to surpress the recent history of the place, most Chinese citizens are oblivious to what occurred there over twenty years ago and, on National Day, especially, the area is filled with endless signs of loyalty and patriotism.
October 1 is the day that China celebrates the formation of the People’s Republic of China, dating back to 1949. It is also the start of one of two Golden Weeks in the PRC, marking a week of vacation for Chinese nationals. On National Day, thousands of Chinese flock to Beijing, Forbidden City and Tiananmen Squire, happily posing for photos, waving Chinese flags and celebrating amongst the red lantern-decorated public spaces.
More photos can be seen in my Flickr photo set.