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A taste of honey for giant panda birthday boy Bei Bei

The youngest giant panda cub at the US National Zoo in Washington celebrated his first birthday with a traditional Chinese ceremony and the sweet taste of honey.

The z oo held a first birthday party for Bei Bei on Saturday, although the actual anniversary is on Monday.

In a ceremony in which symbolic objects are put 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 covered in honey. Bei Bei's mother, Mei Xiang, picked the banner displaying a red knot, which the zoo says symbolises friendship and luck.

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

AP

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