Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Flag Lowering Ceremony, Beijing (Day 5 Part 3)

 After a relaxing late lunch, we went to see the flag lowering ceremony at Tiananmen Square.  Every day at sunrise the Chinese flag is ceremoniously hoisted on the flagpole in the square; the flag is subsequently lowered and removed at sunset.  Considering that we didn't want to wake up earlier than we had to while on vacation, we opted to see the sunset.  Wise decision, minus the crowd-factor. Here are the photos.

The Archery Tower, near the square.

Zhengyangmen (Qianmen) gatehouse, at the southern end of Tiananmen Square.

We figured we had close to an hour before the ceremony, but we still wanted a good spot to see the excitement.

The flagpole is on the northern side of the square.  We approached from the southwest corner.

The National Museum of China

The Monument to the People's Heroes

Tiananmen Gate

Mao's Mausoleum

The air quality wasn't so hot today, so Suz went with a mask.  I did not, however.

We approached the flagpole.

Guards were ready for their parading counterparts to arrive at the moment of sunset.

The crowds were equally ready.

Note the fire extinguishers, in case the crowd grew too raucous.  

Flying high one last time for the day.

False alarm = other soldiers marched behind us.

Here comes the real deal, across the bridge from Tiananmen Gate.

Onetwo, onetwo...

Now that's a man who likes his job.

Down she comes...

And away she goes.

That's a wrap, people!  Goodnight...

Once the soldiers went back through the gate, they were kind enough to turn on the lights.

Coming up = the Wangfujing / Donghuamen Night Market.

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