Tiananmen Square flag down ceremony

Tiananmen Square celebrates a flag rising ceremony in the morning (Around 7AM) and flag lowering ceremony in the evening (around 5PM). Timing varies each day and can be referred on the websites for your day of visit. [I referred this site] I witnessed the flag down ceremony and this post shares relevant photos and a video.
What exactly happens?
  • The road between Forbidden city and Tiananmen square gets closed for traffic for about 10-15 mins of the ceremony
  • Public are allowed to watch from a distance behind the barricades
  • A group of soldiers march towards the flag post, a senior officer lowers the flag, folds it and they take it away (opposite process during flag hoisting ceremony in the morning). This is coupled with some salutes, shouts and such army procedures
Where to stand for best view?
If you stand closer to the forbidden city side, you get to watch the marching closely. If you wait across the road closer to Tiananmen square, you can witness the flag rise/lowering activity closely.

How early to reach?
If you can arrive 15-20 mins prior, you may get a spot closer to barricade and good view, if you are late may be few rows behind
Is this such a spectacular view not to be missed at all?
No. There wasn’t anything too dramatic or extraordinary. If you’ve seen Wagah border ceremony, that is much more grand than what happens in Tiananmen square. If you’re in the vicinity do attend, else it is ok to miss this

After the event police were forcing the public to vacate the place immediately – like how sheep are heralded out of the grassland- police won’t let anyone go close to Tienanmen Square or anywhere else- immediate exit is the only option.

Watch this short video and decide for yourself. [Youtube link]
Sunset behind Tienanmen Square

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