It took several days, but I finally found the time to walk through the Olympic Village. Funny, since I'm working there, but we've been busy and by the end of a shift, we're all exhausted, so it took a little extra encouragement to walk the length of it—which came in the form of a colorful parade pounding down the main street! Seemingly out of nowhere, this huge cavalcade of electrically colored dancers moved through the throngs of people, smiling and celebrating all the way.
While there's probably relevance to every costume on show, the most recognizable were the costumes following the dress of the "Fuwa". These are the Olympic mascots, each representing a variety of elements, symbolisms, personalities and more including each color of the Olympic ring. (See the wiki link for a detailed explanation).
You can see in these photos the blue ones (water/prosperity/aquatic sports) and red (fire/Olympic flame/passion/ball sports). Apparently the artist Han Meilin has disowned the Fuwa, which is not the first I've heard of this. I also was told that the designer of the "birds nest" stadium has disowned it. Interesting what happens when art and the politics of a communist government controlled message collide.
Politics aside, the parade, colors and people were beautiful.