December 26, 2008 - China marks 115th birthday of former leader Mao Zedong
The newly inaugurated Mao Zedong Square in his hometown of central Hunan Province was crowded with people Friday to mark the 115th birthday of the former Chinese leader.
Thousands of people gathered at the square near Mao’s birth place, Shaoshan Village, after midnight to cherish the memory of the “Great Helmsman” who led the nation to found New China in 1949 and served as top leader until he died in 1976.
People paid tribute in front of Mao’s 10.1-meter-tall bronze statue — many presented bouquets and some brought birthday cakes. Most people hummed along when “The East is Red”, a song in tribute of Mao, was played.
Mao’s grandson, Mao Xinyu, was also in the crowd to pay his tribute.
Nearly every Shaoshan villager had noodles for breakfast Friday, a traditional Chinese food to celebrate birthdays as people believe long noodles bring long lives.