SINGAPORE: Hello Kitty turns 40 on Saturday and fans of the cat (or girl) - Japanese company Sanrio's beloved feline character - have been purringly happy.
One of the reasons for their delight is the flurry of activities lined up throughout the year to mark the birthday, including a museum exhibition, the first official Hello Kitty Convention in the world, and other world premier events.
Sanrio Hello Kitty Town in Nusajaya will be celebrating the feline's birthday across four days.
One of the celebration's highlights is the attempt to create a record of the most number of Hello Kitty fans and the most number of selfies taken in the Town on Saturday.
In Singapore, Hello Kitty fans will be participating in a huge birthday bash for the character, which involves a 5km Hello Kitty Run at Sentosa's Siloso Beach, as well as a beach party featuring Hello Kitty-themed fringe activities.
Some 15,000 people have signed up for the run, which will see participants running through various fun zones.
Activities at the beach will include sandcastle-building, beach volleyball, a live fashion show and performances by pop-jazz singing duo ShiLi & Adi.
Little Tokyo in downtown Los Angeles has seen hordes of Hello Kitty fans descending upon Sanrio's first Hello Kitty convention.
This #hellokittycon is expected to draw 25,000 fans.
The long sold-out event takes place at the Geffen Contemporary at the Museum of Contemporary Art, which is next to the Japanese American National Museum.
The museum is also holding an exhibition that explores the feline's colourful history and influence on art and culture, in celebration of its 40th birthday.
The world's first Hello Kitty-themed farm opened in Hong Kong in July, as part of her birthday celebrations.
Fans and visitors alike can purchase herbs and other souvenirs from the farm, which aims to educate visitors about green living.
The grand finale of Hong Kong's Hello Kitty 40th anniversary celebrations comes in the form of a Hello Kitty Go Around event in Kowloon Bay which runs until Nov 16.
This carnival-themed event features a ferris wheel, game stalls, and a life-sized carousel. Fans can also take selfies at designated areas.
In Tokyo, a new parade at Sanrio Puroland was launched to celebrate Hello Kitty's 40th birthday.
The theme of the parade is Arigato Hug You, and showcases both acrobatic performances and singing performers dressed in Hello Kitty outfits. – Singapore Straits Times/ANN
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