KUALA LUMPUR: The first day of the National Day rehearsal not only caught the attention of the locals but it also wowed the tourists here.
The rehearsal, which began at 6.30am, Saturday at the Merdeka Square left the tourists in awe through the splendid performance of what could be in store on the actual event this Wednesday (Aug 31).
Interestingly, some of the tourists thought that the country was celebrating the National Day today before realizing that it was merely a rehearsal.
A tourist from Italy, Daniele Parisi, 41, was mesmerized by the beautiful performance and parade that were portrayed throughout the rehearsal.
"The celebration in this country is more colourful and I can see that there is more participation from the participants compared to the one that Italy had," said Parisi, who is eager to come back and witness the historical day here on Wednesday.
A tourist from Spain, Victoria Martin, 27, was impressed by the participation of the school children for the National Day celebration here, which was a huge contrast to the one in her country.
"The celebration in my country is relatively the same with here as it is colourful and lively but the only thing that stood out is there is no involvement by the school children as the participants for our National Day in Spain," said Victoria, who was accompanied by her good friend for their holiday in Malaysia.
Meanwhile, a tourist from Germany, who wished to known as Mara, 23, was truly overwhelmed by the dance performance that was put up during the rehearsal today.
"In Germany, you would not have seen so many people dancing on the floor and it was really interesting to witness this lovely performance," she said.
A visitor from Johor, Noor Hafizah Hishamuddin, 27, said she was excited to watch the parade and procession in conjunction with the National Day because it brought back memories of the time when she took part in such activities while still at echool.
"Although it is only a rehearsal today, I am definitely eager to come as it is close to my heart and I want to take a closer look at the preparation ahead of the Aug 31 celebration," she said.
The National Day parade and procession on Aug 31 will witness 10 segments of performance - patriotism, public services, economy, animation, sports, self-esteem, public order, national security, air show and national unity.
Last year's celebration theme, 'One Heart, One Soul' (Sehati, Sejiwa) is maintained for 2016 because of the need to foster the spirit of unity that has long been practised by Malaysians. - Bernama