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Wednesday, December 15, 1999, updated at 14:57(GMT+8)
Culture More Activities Held Across China to Mark Macao's Return

Central China's Henan Province will on Wednesday send 600 peony trees expected to bloom with 1, 999 flowers as gifts to Macao to honor the region's return to the motherland.

The flowers will be placed in the hall for Macao's handover ceremony, gardeners say, adding that the largest tree will have 99 flowers.

To welcome Macao home, people in other parts of China are also sending gifts and holding activities to mark the event.

In north China's Shanxi Province, people today presented 3,000 miniature picture albums showing scenes of Wutai Mountain with its ancient temples and figures of Buddha.

A company based in south China's Hunan Province this morning transported fireworks in eight trucks to Macao. The fireworks will be set off at around 10:30 p.m. on December 20 and December 21.

As the countdown toward China resuming exercise of sovereignty over Macao on December 20 grows shorter, people's interest in the region is growing. In Shijiazhuang, the capital of north China's Hebei Province, readers are flocking to bookstores to buy books on Macao.

In Beijing, more and more people gather before the 16-meter- high, 9.6-meter-wide countdown board to take pictures to remember Macao's return.

People in the north China port city of Tianjin are participating in lectures, seminars, picture exhibitions, artistic performances and poetry readings to express their joy over Macao's return.

In Harbin, the capital of northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, over 1,000 pupils have presented postcards they made, and red scarves as well as plant seeds as special gifts to the children of Macao.

A Hong Kong press has published a Macao encyclopedia giving full descriptions of Macao's history, politics, economy, law, education, culture, social welfare, religion and custom, as well as conditions during the transition period.

The company over the weekend presented the encyclopedia to more than 60 colleges, libraries and other organizations in Beijing as gifts.

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