Monday, September 30, 2013

The Chinese Celebrate the Arrival of October With National Day

With the arrival of October we welcome a season of color changing leaves, pumpkin picking, apple cider, halloween, and light jackets- but in China the coming of October 1st means the arrival of National Day. Lasting from October 1st to the 7th, National Day is thought of as one of China's "Golden Weeks". 

This 7-day stretch makes this the longest Chinese public holiday after the Spring Festival, so people love taking this time to travel. It is also a very popular time for tourists to come to the country to witness the display of patriotism, so if you ever want to visit during this week make sure to plan ahead! The much anticipated week is purposed to commemorate the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949. 

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Although the People's Republic of China was technically founded on September 21st of 1949, the ceremony to celebrate this revolutionary formation was held in Tiananmen Square on the first day of October, passing the "Resolution on the National Day of PRC" the following day. 

Curiously, even though National Day was not declared a holiday until 1949, the term appears within writings and the Chinese language as far back as the Western Jin Dynasty, which lasted from 265-316 AD. 

On this day, people love showing their national pride through spectacular parades and parties. The Military Review and Parade at Tiananmen Square is held every five years- with the 5 year anniversaries being smaller parades and the ten year anniversaries being very large and more heavily celebrated. 

For people across China unable to make it to Tiananmen Square, there are also many other activities including flag-raising ceremonies, dancing, firework displays, and art exhibitions in many of the towns and cities. For lovers of bargains and discounts, the 7-day holiday is one of the best times to shop, so get your wallet ready!