December 28, 2023
CHANGSHA – Over 111,000 people visited Chairman Mao Zedong’s hometown of Shaoshan, Hunan province, from 6 am on Monday to 5 pm on Tuesday to commemorate the 130th anniversary of his birth. This number was a 713 percent increase from last year, according to local authorities.
Mao was born on Dec 26, 1893, in Shaoshan village, Shaoshan city, Hunan province. He left Shaoshan at the age of 17.
The number of tourists visiting Shaoshan city from Monday to Tuesday also increased by almost 14 percent from 2019, the authorities said.
Tourism revenue during the two days reached 94.39 million yuan ($13.2 million), an increase of 708 percent from the same period last year and 13 percent from 2019, they said.
Local authorities organized various activities to commemorate the special event.
Almost 4,000 people from across the country participated in a running event on Monday morning in Shaoshan. It was first hosted in 1983, making this year the 40th event.
At 6 am on Tuesday, villagers and tourists ate noodles symbolizing happiness and longevity to commemorate the special occasion.
Mao Chunshan, Party secretary of Shaoshan village, said that people express their gratitude to Chairman Mao by eating a bowl of noodles.
The tradition of eating noodles around Mao Zedong’s birthday has been observed in Shaoshan for many years, according to Mao Chunshan.
“Chairman Mao changed China and made it more prosperous, but he had lived a very frugal life and often just ate a bowl of noodles on his birthday. He also said that celebrating one’s birthday would not make a person live long, and he needed to use his time to serve the people,” Mao Chunshan said.
He added that the late leader’s morality and spirit will always educate and inspire generations of Chinese people.
Many tourists also bowed three times to the statue of Mao at Mao Zedong Square on Tuesday to express their deep feelings and gratitude.