China's national flags and festive banners are seen in Wan Chai, south China's Hong Kong, Sept. 30, 2020. (Xinhua/Wang Shen)
HONG KONG, Oct. 1 (Xinhua) -- Hong Kong on Thursday saw various activities in celebration of the National Day and Mid-Autumn Festival falling on the same day this year, including flag-raising ceremonies and parades of buses and fishing vessels.
China's national flag and the flag of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) were hoisted and the national anthem was played at the Golden Bauhinia Square on Thursday morning in a ceremony to mark the 71st anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.
Helicopters carrying flags flew over Victoria Harbor and a fireboat sprayed a water salute.
When addressing a reception, HKSAR Chief Executive Carrie Lam said the central government has always been the strong backup force to Hong Kong's prosperity and stability and has helped Hong Kong address various difficulties and challenges since its return to the motherland in 1997.
She cited recent support by the central government in launching mass COVID-19 testing in Hong Kong and building a makeshift hospital and community treatment facilities.
National flags were also raised in schools.
"I often use the time between classes and after school to practice flag-raising, and I want to join the flag-raising team when I grow up," a student surnamed Wong in primary six of the Pui Kiu Primary School said.
As the national security law in Hong Kong has helped restore stability and the COVID-19 epidemic has abated, people can have peaceful and joyful National Day and Mid-Autumn Festival, Tang Fei, the principal of Heung To Secondary School (Tseung Kwan O), said.
A series of celebrations were organized in multiple districts of Hong Kong and festive banners were found almost everywhere from stores along the streets to landmark buildings.
Lee Tung Street, an entertainment area in Wan Chai, was decorated by red banners, flags and big lanterns, and volunteers distributed moon cakes, lanterns and face masks to passersby.
In a parade of double-decker buses, passengers on the top floor sang national anthem and waved national flags, who were greeted by people along the street. In Victoria Harbor, more than 30 fishing vessels, decorated with national flags and banners, sailed in a procession.
The peaceful, festive scenes came as Hong Kong stepped out of the shadow of violence and riots thanks to the national security law taking effect.
After experiencing social unrest last year and the implementation of the national security law, it has been clear that to ensure continued progress in various causes, Hong Kong must maintain a safe and stable environment, adhere to the "one country" to safeguard national sovereignty and security, correctly understand the relationship between the "one country" and the "two systems," and act in accordance with the Constitution and the Basic Law of the HKSAR, Lam said in her speech.
Over the past three months, stability has returned to the Hong Kong society, national security has been safeguarded in the HKSAR, and people have been able to enjoy their basic rights and freedoms in accordance with law, she said.
Lam said the HKSAR government will more actively push Hong Kong to integrate into the national development and called on Hong Kong people to genuinely uphold the "one country, two systems" principle and the Basic Law of the HKSAR and make concerted efforts to build Hong Kong into a better place. Enditem