Chinese President Xi Jinping and other senior leaders of the Communist Party of China (CPC) attended a ceremony on Sunday morning to pay tribute and lay wreaths at the Monument to the People's Heroes at the Tian'anmen Square in Beijing.
Xi, also general secretary of CPC Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, joined representatives of all walks of life to mark the country's fifth Martyrs' Day, on the eve of the National Day.
China designated September 30 as Martyrs' Day in 2014 to commemorate those who lost their lives fighting for national causes.
In China, martyrs refer to "people who sacrificed their lives for national independence and prosperity, as well as the welfare of the people in modern times, or after the First Opium War (1840-1842)."
A military band played trumpets to commemorate the martyrs before the ceremony started.
At 10 a.m. local time, participants sang the national anthem, and then bowed their heads in silent tribute to those who devoted their lives to the liberation of the Chinese people, and the establishment and development of the People's Republic of China.
Following a patriotic song delivered by children, 18 honor guards laid nine sets of flowers in front of the monument.
Baskets were presented in the names of the CPC Central Committee, the National People's Congress, the State Council, the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the Central Military Commission, All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, non-communist parties and non-Party individuals, mass organizations, veterans, senior cadres and the families of martyrs, as well as China's Young Pioneers organization.
President Xi straightened red ribbons on the baskets and led a group of senior officials in a walk around the monument to pay tribute.
Children and other attendees followed them and laid bouquets of flowers at the foot of the monument.
China has a long tradition of commemorating and honoring those who lost their lives serving their country.
It is believed that China has about 20 million martyrs and the country has about one million martyrs' graves, and another 29,000 facilities commemorating martyrs administered and protected by a national system.
Over 170 further facilities commemorating Chinese martyrs are located in 22 countries and regions around the world.
Martyrs' Day is also the day on which the foundations were laid for the Monument to the People's Heroes in 1949, which stands at the heart of Beijing's Tian'anmen Square.
The Chinese government made the decision to build the monument in 1949 when the People's Republic of China was founded.
The Monument to the People's Heroes pays tribute to heroes who, since 1840, have laid down their lives in struggles against domestic and foreign enemies. It honors those who have died in the struggle for national independence and the freedom and well-being of the Chinese people.
The front of the monument bears an inscription in late Chairman Mao Zedong's handwriting, which says "Eternal glory to the people's heroes." On the back is a message drafted by Mao, and written by late Premier Zhou Enlai.