Located between the Municipal Government Building and Fushan Bay and encompassing Shizhengting Square, Coastal Park and Central Square, May Fourth Square is a large square in Qingdao’s central business district. Covering a huge area of 10 hectares, the square is bordered by the city government to the north and the sea to the south, while its eastern and western sides are surrounded by high-rise residential and commercial buildings.
Named after the historic May Fourth Movement that originated from Qingdao, the square contains, near the seaside, the May Wind, a large, iconic sculpture in bright red colour, resembling a burning flame.
The May Fourth Movement was a Chinese anti-imperialist movement, which was fuelled by student protests in the capital city of Beijing, when they gathered in front of Tiananmen on 4 May 1919, denouncing the government's spineless inability to protect Chinese interests. They mainly opposed the granting of Shandong to the Japanese under former German concessions that had been surrendered to Germany after the siege of Tsingtao in 1914, according to the Treaty of Versailles. The mass demonstration of the students ultimately resulted in the cultural movement of the country, known as the May Fourth Movement, which influenced the Chinese delegation not to sign the Treaty of Versailles. Finally, China declared the end of its war against Germany in September 1919 and signed a separate treaty in 1921.
The May Fourth Square, mainly based on the evergreen cold-season lawn, is divided into north and south areas. While the north area of the square is connected to the Qingdao Municipal People's Government and is the central square, the southern district, adjacent to the beautiful Fushan Bay, is the district Liangxin Beach Park. There is a large green lawn in the middle of the square, decorated with palm trees and a circular fountain in the centre.
The surrounding area of the square, along with the sides of the lawn is paved with Qingdao granite in various designs. However, the stone surface hides a total of 81 underground fountains and atomizers spray water regularly, in different directions in different shapes and heights.
The May Fourth Square is a great starting point for strolls along the shoreline. The Olympic Sailing Centre, the only parallel venue during the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games as the sailing competition venue, is located in the Fushan Bay, where one can rent a speedboat or sailboat for a trip around the bay.
China's first offshore hundred-metre fountain is also located here, in the sea, 525 feet (160 m) away from the south coast dam on the axis in the square. Designed to use advanced high-pressure pumps, the fountain emits water column that reaches up to more than 300 feet (100 m), spraying water vapour that looks like coming from the sky and turns like a silver yarn that slowly floats to cover the square, making the whole square resembling enveloped in fog.
The May Fourth Square is a big draw for kite flyers and on pleasant days, it becomes particularly full of young couples who sit, relax, stroll and spend time together, while viewing the sky full of colourful kites. The huge waterfront expanse is dominated by the 98 feet (30 m) high bright red twisting sculpture, the Winds of May, resembling the shape of a whirlwind. In the evening, it turns into more of an awe-inspiring sight, when the whole sculpture is illuminated by bright lights to make it look like a flaming torch.
To commemorate the 80th anniversary of the May Fourth Movement, China Central Television and other units filmed special programmes in the May Fourth Square with the iconic May Wind sculpture in the background. Later, on 25 September 2018, the light show to celebrate the Chinese Mid-autumn festival was put on the buildings, even across the sea of the May Fourth Square.