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Two reasons to celebrate

IT'S double happiness at the World Expo today as China celebrates both the National Day and its National Pavilion Day.

The festivities include the chance to watch the launch of China's second lunar orbiter, various traditional performances, a parade, face painting and an opportunity to win some prizes.

The Space Home Pavilion welcomes visitors to witness the launch of the Chang'e 2 space probe. If weather permits, the unmanned orbiter will blast off at 6:59pm today from the Xichang launch site in Sichuan Province. The launch will be broadcast live on a large screen outside the pavilion.

It's the country's second lunar probe mission and Chang'e 2 will enter into orbit 100 kilometers above the moon.

The pavilion will also unveil a model of the orbiter today.

Meanwhile, Baosteel Stage will show "The Founding of a Republic," one of last year's most popular Chinese films, on its large outdoor screen. The movie will be screened nonstop.

Also, lucky draws will be held at the Macau Pavilion both today and tomorrow. Three visitors on both days will win two peak-day tickets to the Expo. Each ticket is worth 200 yuan (US$29.88).

A parade will be held at noon. The highlight will be a dragon-shaped float featuring a bevy of beautiful Chinese women in traditional clothing.

Celebration Square's music fountain show has been improved. The new version debuts around 8pm today and will feature lasers and other effects. The square is near the Huangpu River.

Those feeling especially patriotic can get their faces painted with China's national flag at the UBPA Square.

Stephen Wiltshire, an autistic painter from Britain, will display his drawing of Pudong New Area's skyline. The painter only looked at the skyline for a few minutes before going elsewhere to draw it from memory. A total of 2010 copies of the drawing will be sold at 2pm at the Shanghai City of Books.

Back at the Expo, the Hunan Pavilion in the Chinese provincial pavilion will broadcast a movie about late Chairman Mao Zedong, the founder of the People's Republic of China. The movie will play nonstop today.

The provincial pavilions for Hainan and Jiangxi will hand out free gifts to visitors today while it will be business as usual at the China Pavilion.


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