National Zoo hosts sweet birthday bash for panda cub Bei Bei

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WASHINGTON  — The youngest giant panda cub at the National Zoo is celebrating his first birthday with a traditional Chinese ceremony and the sweet taste of honey.

The National Zoo held a first birthday party for Bei Bei on Saturday. He was born Aug. 22, 2015.

In a ceremony in which symbolic objects are placed in front of a baby, the zoo placed three banners with symbols painted on them in the panda yard. The poles supporting the banners were slathered in honey. Bei Bei’s mother, Mei Xiang, picked the banner displaying a red knot, which the zoo says symbolizes friendship and luck.

Panda keeper Brandie Smith tells WTOP that Bei Bei enjoyed his first taste of honey. The pandas were also given cakes made of frozen diluted juice.

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