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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Beijing set for 1st countdown (2)

By Huang Shaojie and Xuyang Jingjing (Global Times)

08:32, December 31, 2011

The videos, put together by Jack Morton Worldwide, will showcase the four seasons of the city, the faces of ordinary Chinese people, and will seek to convey the beauty and culture of the capital. A 10-minute video will start at 15 minutes before midnight featuring the "Beijing Spirit," of patriotism, innovation, inclusiveness and virtue.

At five minutes before midnight, 960 students will begin cycling on the Red Stairway Bridge linking the altar and the hall of prayer. The cycling will generate power and light up LED panels on the cyclists' jackets, a symbolic move to advocate the green, low-carbon concept.

The bridge will also be covered with LED screens and will display animated images. The entire 800-meter axis of the Temple of Heaven will be lit up in sync as the countdown progresses. The countdown will culminate with "Happy New Year" flashed on the major architecture of the temple along with virtual fireworks, followed by another short video.

The three areas, the altar, the bridge, and the hall of prayer, represent the harmonious coexistence of heaven, earth and humanity.

The normal tradition of fireworks will be ditched. "It wouldn't be good for the environment," said Sun.

With the show, the city's officials aim to tell the world about Beijing's cultural attractiveness and also to generate more tourism revenue.

The city now offers few outdoor activities during its long winter, which can be bitterly cold, except for skiing and some revitalized temple fairs around the Chinese New Year.

"But Beijing should be more than just skiing and spas in winter," said Sun, adding that he hopes the New Year's Eve countdown will eventually become another hot event to come to Beijing during the off-season.

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