(BEIJING, August 6) -- With two days to go before the start of the Beijing Olympics, the organizers of the Games released the plan for the Opening Ceremony, which takes place on August 8.
The ceremony will start at 8:00 p.m. and will last about three and half hours, with China's Liu Huan and Sarah Brightman from Britain chosen to sing the theme song, said Zhang Heping, director of the BOCOG Opening and Closing Ceremonies Department at a press conference.
A 75-minute "pre-ceremony" performance that will end at 7:00 p.m. will feature folk and ethnic art from 28 teams across the country, Zhang said.
The core part of the ceremony -- the artistic performance -- will last one hour. It will be divided into two parts -- one to highlight China's age-old civilization and the other to highlight China's splendid modern era. The theme song will come at the end of the performance.
The post-performance part of the ceremony will last two and a half hours and comprises various Olympic rituals and traditions, including a declaration from Chinese President Hu Jintao opening the Games and a two-hour long parade of athletes. Delegations from 204 national and regional Olympic committees will enter the stadium according to the order of the simplified Chinese characters.
"The passion will be lighted on the night of August 8, offering the hundreds of thousands of spectators in the National Stadium, as well as hundreds of millions of people outside a spectacular performance," Zhang told the press.