We watched as some kind of ceremony unfolded. Some apparent dignitaries were introduced, and they signed their names to a long banner. Then the students signed their names to the banner. With a loud pop, two cylinders exploded a shower of confetti over the crowd, and two torch bearers began to run away from the group. The flag bearers and crowds of students followed, disappearing from view. They later reappeared from the opposite direction, having circled the campus.
I asked a student what the celebration was about, and expected the answer to have something to do with the national holiday coming up. But no, it seems it was part of the year-long celebration of Xiada's 85th anniversary. Each of the flags represented a college or school of the university.
The girls enjoyed the ceremony, marching to the martial music. But the highlight for them was the confetti -- they and the other kids in the crowd chased around to collect every bit. Then they threw it in the air again for their own personal confetti shower, and picked it all up to do it again!