The 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China (simplified Chinese: 中华人民共和国成立六十周年庆典; traditional Chinese: 中華人民共和國成立六十周年慶典) took place on 1 October 2009. A military parade involving 10,000 troops and the display of many high tech weapons was held at Tiananmen Square in Beijing and various celebrations were conducted all over the country. This parade was immediately followed by a civilian parade involving 100,000 participants.
Mosquitoes, rats, flies and cockroaches were the targets of professional exterminators – four unannounced night-time sweeps have been carried out around Tiananmen Square in Beijing including the Forbidden City complex to its north. The public are encouraged to support the eradication through red slogan banners along Beijing streets and alleys in what The Times said was reminiscent of the Four Pests campaign. One of the slogans read: “Eradicate the four pests, stress hygiene. Cleanly, cleanly welcome National Day!”
Tiananmen Square was sealed off for the day on 29 August for the first rehearsals. Tens of thousands of fully costumed performers once again rehearsed on 16 September. The military are also preparing: several hundred vehicles rolled down Chang’an Avenue on 6 September. Parts of Beijing were closed down on 18 September for the final rehearsals of the anniversary parade. Police cleared streets and office buildings on the main roadways near Tiananmen Square from noon onwards for rehearsals that evening. State media have gone into overdrive, and have, for example, highlighted how thousands of troops who have spent four months drilling to march in step on a mock practice ground with scale model of Chang’an Avenue complete with the leadership reviewing stand. Following disruptions caused by the drills which shut roads and large parts of the Beijing Subway, Xinhua News Agency announced that the final rehearsal parade, scheduled for 26 September, was called off.