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Chinese fall hard for traditional Moon Festival

(Xinhua)

08:30, September 13, 2011

BEIJING, Sept. 12 (Xinhua) -- Ten weeks after she moved the nation by reaching out to save a toddler who was falling from a high-rise, the heroine was reunited with the child Monday to celebrate the traditional Moon Festival.

"It's a miracle to see that Niu Niu can walk and play again," said Wu Juping, 31.

When two-year-old Niu Niu fell out of the window of her 10th-floor home in the eastern Zhejiang Province on July 2, Wu reached out in time to break the toddler's fall, preventing the girl from hitting the ground at full force. They did not know each other.

Wu suffered a broken arm, receiving treatment for more than two months.

Niu Niu, who survived the fall with serious internal injuries, is recuperating well.

Both were allowed to go home briefly for the holiday before returning to the hospital.

"It's such a happy occasion to celebrate the Moon Festival together," Wu said. "It will bring good luck to all our families."

The festival, also known as the Mid-Autumn Festival, falls in the middle of autumn and symbolizes harvest and family reunions.

HELPING HANDS

While most people celebrate the three-day holiday by going on sightseeing tours, shopping, dining out or visiting parents in faraway towns, some voluntarily give a helping hand to the needy and deprived.

While Niu Niu has been with her parents and neighbors, another girl of her age is confined to a hospital bed with serious leg injuries and the grief of losing both parents.

Xiang Weiyi, 2, lost both parents in the fatal high-speed train crash in Zhejiang Province on July 23. She was the last survivor to be found in the wreckage after a bullet train rear-ended a stalled train on a railway in Wenzhou.

She has undergone several operations and is now in Shanghai for treatment.

Her companions for the holiday were mainly doctors, nurses and volunteers, including students and social workers, who told her stories and brought her gifts.

Across China, helping hands were extended Monday to orphans, grief-striken parents who lost their only children in earthquakes, landslides and other disasters.

Wang Jiayu, 71, said the best gift he had received for the holiday was a new welfare home for the 200 homeless children he took charge of in Yingshang County of the eastern Anhui Province.

"We've moving in October," said Wang, who has voluntarily fostered more than 500 children in the past 17 years. "It's at least five times as big as our old residence."

Most of the children are either orphaned or abandoned for congenital diseases. At least 70 percent of them are mentally or physically disabled.

"They all need a helping hand," said Wang, a farmer who has managed to raise money for the children with the help of villagers and volunteers.

On Monday, Premier Wen Jiabao visited a welfare home for the elderly Beijing, bringing greetings for the traditional holiday and joining some of them in ping pong and snooker.

"You've contributed greatly to the country and deserve a happy retired life," Wen told Cheng Lianzhong, who suffers visual impairment as a result of an industrial injury when he was younger.

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