Early on Thursday morning, amid the drizzling autumn rain, more than 90,000 people gathered at Tian'anmen Square in downtown Beijing waiting for the solemn national flag-raising ceremony.
As the five-star red flag was hoisted to the top of the flagpole, accompanied by the national anthem, "The March of the Volunteers," the crowd burst into cheers of "Long live the People's Republic of China!" and "May the great motherland be prosperous and strong!"
"I felt that the audience was all one at the moment the national anthem was played. This is the pride of the Chinese," said Wang Mingjun, a college student in Beijing.
"During the epidemic, I kept a close eye on the progress of the prevention and control work. It is a great feat that our country has effectively controlled the epidemic in such a short period of time and restored normal life," said Liu Guangsheng, a Communist Party of China member from the eastern province of Jiangsu, who also watched the flag-raising ceremony.
Thursday marked the 71st anniversary of the founding of New China and also the Mid-Autumn Festival. During this traditional festival, people eat mooncakes, enjoy the moon and reunions with family members.
On Thursday, Ma Yan, a doctor from Anhui Provincial Hospital, reunited with family members. She was one of the 42,000 medical workers nationwide sent to Hubei Province to fight the epidemic early this year.
"I feel the happiness of this reunion and also realize how hard-won that happiness is!" said Ma. "It is because of the united and arduous efforts of our Chinese people that we have accomplished major strategic results in the fight against COVID-19."
This year is special for the Chinese people because the country is determined to realize its poverty-elimination goal, despite the impact of the coronavirus epidemic and rare floods in the southern and eastern regions.
During the eight-day holiday for the National Day and the Mid-Autumn Festival, the number of domestic tourists is expected to reach 550 million. Booming tourism brings income to many rural residents, especially those in poverty-stricken areas with unique landscapes.
Ahead of the National Day, 17-year-old Mouselazuo, an ethnic Yi resident, returned to her old house in a cliff village in Zhaojue County, Sichuan Province. In May, her family moved to a new home 65 km away, together with fellow villagers, as part of a relocation program for poverty reduction.
Due to the improvement of transport services, the village has adopted tourism as a new area of business. Mouselazuo joined the family in cleaning the old house, with a view to hosting tourists.
Zhao Zaori, a resident in Lamujue Village, Jinyang County, in Sichuan, is confident of shaking off poverty by the end of this year. Jinyang and Zhaojue are two of the remaining 52 counties nationwide that are due to eliminate poverty by the end of 2020.
Zhao has also moved to a new house that is partly funded by the local government. He said he had never imagined his family would live in such a cozy house with three bedrooms and home appliances.
"We will rent our farmland to our fellow villagers and make money in the urban area next year," Zhao said. Enditem