Hangzhou, China, March 16, 2023: The Hangzhou Asian Games Organising Committee (HAGOC) provided details of the opening and closing ceremony of the 19th Asian Games during the 5th Olympic Council of Asia Coordination Committee meeting on Thursday, March 16.
HAGOC said the opening ceremony, to be held on September 23, would begin at 8pm and last for 120 minutes.
The parade of athletes from the 45 National Olympic Committees is timed for 40 minutes, after which the formal parts of the programme will take place.
The cultural performance that will follow the official opening will last for around 45 minutes, HAGOC said, bringing the two-hour ceremony to a close.
The closing ceremony on October 8 will be shorter at 80 minutes, as there will be no team-by-team parade as in the opening ceremony, just a general march-in timed at 28 minutes.
After the 19th Asian Games are declared closed, the official flag handover ceremony from Hangzhou to Aichi-Nagoya – host of the 20th Asian Games in 2026 – will take place.
Regarding the Torch Relay, the flame will be lit at the Archaeological Ruins of Liangzhu City – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – in mid-June on the occasion of the 100-day countdown.
UNESCO, which listed the site in 2019, says: “These ruins are an outstanding example of early urban civilization expressed in earthen monuments, urban planning, a water conservation system and a social hierarchy expressed in differentiated burials in cemeteries within the property.”
HAGOC plans to use 2,022 torch bearers to signify the original year of the 19th Asian Games in September 2022. The relay route is still being finalized.