Sunday, August 10, 2008

China Self-Adhesive Sheetlet: 2008-18

China Sheetlet II (Self-Adhesive)
Name: The Opening Memorial of the Games of the XXIX Olympiad
Number: 2008-18
Date of Issue: 08 August 2008
Value: 8 stamps/sheet

The 2008 Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony was held at the Beijing National Stadium. It began at 8:00 PM or 20:00 China Standard Time (UTC+8) on 8 August 2008.The number 8 is associated with prosperity and confidence in Chinese culture. The ceremony was directed by Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou and featured a cast of over 15,000 performers, and was dubbed beforehand as "the most spectacular Olympics Opening Ceremony ever produced".

A rich assembly of ancient Chinese art and culture dominated the ceremony. It opened with the beating of Fou drums for the countdown. Subsequently, a giant scroll was unveiled and became the show's centerpiece. The official song of the 2008 Olympics was performed by Britain's Sarah Brightman and China's Liu Huan, and was titled You and Me.

Former Chinese gymnast Li Ning ignited the cauldron.

The entry parade of the competing athletes was in a different order from previous Olympic ceremonies, because it was not in ordinary alphabetical order of the names of the competing nations but in order (lowest first) of how many strokes are in their Chinese character transcriptions; for example, Australia was near the end because the first character of the Chinese name of Australia (澳大利亚) has 15 strokes.

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