Two Chinese women take a photo in front of a bronze statue of Chairman Mao Zedong in Shaoshan, Central China’s Hunan Province on Tuesday. Thousands of Mao’s admirers will come to Shaoshan, Mao’s birthplace, this week to mark the 120th anniversary of the former leader’s birth. Photo: AFP Read more in Daily Special(s): Mao’s 120th anniversary marked with events nationwide
Memorial ceremonies have been carried out in many regions of China to mark the 120th anniversary of Mao Zedong's birth, which falls on Thursday.
Mao, one of the most influential figures in China's modern history, was born in Shaoshan, Hunan Province, on December 26, 1893.
The flagship People's Daily on Wednesday printed a full-page article about his important role in China's revolutionary development, as a founder of the People's Republic of China, the Communist Party of China and the People's Liberation Army.
The article highlighted Mao Zedong thought, saying his progressive insights should be treated as a solemn and important political legacy which could be associated with the Party's leadership and development. It added that it is still very important for the public to learn Mao's thought today.
Central China's Hunan Province has held a symposium, a wreath-laying ceremony and a gala to mark his birth.
Mao's relatives attended an evening gala held in the provincial capital Changsha on Monday, along with over 2,000 others. Revolutionary songs and recitals of Mao's works were performed in the show.
Local authorities have spent nearly 2 billion yuan ($327 million) on 12 public projects in Shaoshan to commemorate the anniversary, such as repairs to Mao's memorial museum and refurbishing his former residence, according to the Xiangtan Daily.
Shaoshan authorities have also highlighted the value of the anniversary commemoration, calling it "the most significant political mission."
Party chief of Hunan Province Xu Shousheng said in November that officials should prepare for Mao's birth anniversary this year in line with President Xi Jinping
's directions that the celebration should be "solemn, simple and pragmatic," which were made during Xi's visit to Hunan.
Jin Tiehua, a man who has a Beijing museum of "red collections," told the Global Times that this year's anniversary celebration activities seemed to be more high-profile.
"Compared to several years ago, fewer people scold me when I express my love for Chairman Mao online. Meanwhile, more people come to my museum for a visit or even share their ideas on establishing similar museums," said Jin.
Activities to celebrate Mao's birthday have been carried out across the country.
A concert was held in Beijing on Wednesday, featuring well-known artists, such as folk singer Song Zuying, and some performing troupes.
However, gala tickets were not on sale to the general public as the troupes booked up the whole hall, said a staff member at the National Center of Performing Arts ticket office.