CHINA / SOCIETY
100,000 doves symbolizing peace fly over Tiananmen Square at end of the grand ceremony for the CPC centennial
Published: Jul 02, 2021 01:39 AM
Dove releasing on the grand ceremony in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China on Thursday. Photo: Screenshot of China Central Television

Dove releasing on the grand ceremony in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China on Thursday. Photo: Screenshot of China Central Television



At the end of the grand ceremony to celebrate the centenary of the Communist Party of China (CPC), 100,000 doves symbolizing peace were released to the sky over Tiananmen Square against the background music of the "Ode to The Motherland," showing the best wishes of the Chinese people to the Party on its birthday.

The number of doves released hit a record-high among similar activities on major national events, the Beijing Daily reported on Thursday.

Close to the end of the grand ceremony, all 100,000 doves flew out of cages in 16 cars parked on two sides of the Monument to the People's Heroes in Tiananmen Square.

The doves came from local dove fanciers and pigeon breeding associations in Beijing.

The collection of the birds started as early as April in 13 districts in Beijing, including Daxing, Fangshan, Chaoyang, Dongcheng, and Xicheng, according to the Beijing Daily.

Liu, a member of a pigeon fancier association in Dongcheng district, told the Global Times on Thursday that, "to send our best wishes on the centennial of the CPC, over 600 dove fanciers in the district actively registered to volunteer their doves to this activity."

"The preparation for collecting doves for this event started in mid-May in Dongcheng district. To make sure each dove collected in this activity was healthy, workers from the animal epidemic prevention department collected stool and blood samples for testing," Liu mentioned, adding that"before loading the birds on a special dove cage and handing the pigeons over to the collection staff on June 30, we made three rounds of training with the doves, flying 50, 80 and 100 kilometers, to make sure they would be able to find their way home after being released on Thursday."

"All dove fanciers in Beijing responded positively and there were over 3,000 families who volunteered to provide doves," Sun Peng, Secretary General of the Beijing Homing Pigeon Association, said in an interview with the Beijing Daily.

In an interview with The Paper, Sun said that the releasing activities used to be carried out by experienced personnel. However, this time the work was handed over to 100 students from the Beijing Police College. "Young people have a strong desire and enthusiasm to participate in the celebration," Sun said.

To open the dove cage at the same time during the ceremony, the students trained for two months and learned flag signals and commands.

The dove, which represents peace, friendship, unity and freedom, always has a place on major national events and holidays in the capital city, such as the National Day and decennial anniversaries of the founding of the nation.

"We have formed a tradition to volunteer our doves for these activities. It is a special recognition given by the government to dove fanciers and we feel much honored to make contributions to this grand ceremony," Liu said.


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