Melissa Block

Ready For May Day

A brief floral update from Chengdu: the huge May 1st flower display in Tianfu Square that I described earlier is fully enflowered and ready for Friday's holiday.

A flowery 5-1 display in Chengdu, China, for May Day. Photo: Melissa Block, NPR.

The giant 5/1 in the heart of Chengdu is now fully festooned with flowers, ready to greet the crowds on Friday's May Day celebration. Melissa Block/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Melissa Block/NPR

(In case you're wondering, the numbers 5 and 1 are made up of red poinsettias by the thousands - all poked through a wicker frame. The orange and yellow flowers are marigolds; the pink ones are begonias.)

The last big public gathering I saw in Tianfu Square was on May 19th of last year: a moment of silence rally to mark the one week anniversary of the earthquake . People had flocked to the center of Chengdu by the thousands. They brought huge floral tissue-paper wreaths and wore white carnations in honor of the dead. The moment of silence segued into an outpouring of raucous and emotional patriotic chanting, as the people gathered in the square wept and raised their fists in the air and shouted, "Stand up! Be strong! Go China go!"

I'll be curious to go back to Tianfu Square this Friday to see what the May Day celebration is all about.

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