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Happy Chinese National Day! 国庆节快乐!

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National Day Chinese Red flags china

National Day Chinese Red flags china (Photo credit: dcmaster)

Today it’s finally here, October 1st, the economic wonder of China is turning 64! This means, today, exactly 64 years ago, Mao Zedong founded the People’s Republic of China with a ceremony held on Tiananmen Square. If you want to skip the history lesson ahead continue reading at “What do see and do on October 1st  in China?”

I don’t want to give you a huge history lesson but it is useful to know the following background:

Before 1949, the  country was called Republic of China which was founded  on January 1st, 1912. This period was characterized by civil war, Sino-Japanese war as well as World War II. After the Japanese occupation, the Chinese Civil War took place when the Kuomintang (KMT) – which was founded by Song Jiaoren and Sun Yat-sen – and forces of the Communist Party of China (CPC) were fighting against each other. In the end, the KMT and therefore the entire Republic of China moved to Taiwan and claimed sovereignity and the CPC built the PRC on October 1st, 1949.

On Chinese National Day, especially Mao Zedong is celebrated being the man who brought China forward.

Under Mao, the Chinese population almost doubled from around 550 million to over 900 million. However, Mao’s Great Leap Forward, a large-scale economic and social reform project, resulted in an estimated 45 million deaths between 1958 and 1961, mostly from starvation. In 1966, Mao and his allies launched the Cultural Revolution, sparking a period of political recrimination and social upheaval which lasted until Mao’s death in 1976.

Besides Mao’s dichotomous achievements, homage to Deng Xiaoping should not be forgotten on Chinese National Day. It was much rather him who, after Mao‘s death, led his country towards a market economy and opened up the country more and more. He also created special economic centers such as Shenzhen.

Nevertheless who the Chinese are honoring during Chinese National Day – or maybe they don’t even care – to me, the most fascinating thing about China is the fact that within only 35 years, the country moved around 400 million people out of poverty and since Deng Xiaoping’s opening to the world in 1978, the Chinese economy has grown more than a hundredfold. Mega cities and world centers popped out of nowhere and more new cities are built every year.

Now The Fun Part: What do see and do on October 1st  in China?

If you happen to be in Beijing on that day, lucky you! You will have the pleasure to be able to see the military review and parade at Tiananmen Square!

  • If you’re not in Beijing:

In every city there will be some firework display and activities such as flag-raising, dance and song shows or painting and calligraphy exhibitions. If you love shopping, National Day is the ideal time because many shopping malls offer big discounts during the holiday.

Good To Know For Traveling

Currently, Chinese people are granted 3 days off for National Day, 2 days in Macau and only 1 day in Hong Kong. Ususally, the days off are connected with the weekends so that people can enjoy a long 7-day holiday from October 1st to 7th. This period is known as the “Golden Week” and is the longest holiday in China besides the Spring Festival.

Due to its length, the National Day is a popular travel period. Should you want to travel during “Golden Week”, be warned of a sea of people at popular attractions, difficulties to get train or flight tickets which also may cost more than usual and hotel rooms are fully booked very fast.

I wish you all a happy Chinese National Day! 祝大家国庆节快乐!

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Linda has been living in Asia since 2012 and loves sharing her travel and life experiences on her website. She currently works remotely in Online Marketing and also teaches various English classes in South Korea.

No Comments

  1. myhongkonghusband on September 30, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    from my ideology I cannot really support Chinese National Day, especially when last year in HK so many people died on this day in ferry crash 🙁 but I wish you a happy CND 🙂
    PS FINALLY I responded to your email 😀 Sorry sweetie!

    • lindalindsch on September 30, 2013 at 4:08 pm

      well, this post is not supposed to be about politics but rather just informative. But i can see your point 😉
      i didn’t know that there was an accident last year 🙁
      YES i already read your email! thanks xo

    • clement8899 on September 30, 2013 at 5:00 pm

      Ferry crash is a tragic accident. But we should not feel sad, because it did not help. Happy Chinese National Day!

    • Suigetsu on September 30, 2013 at 9:15 pm

      Hey, it just occurred to me who you remind me of!

      I’m not saying that you two look the same or anything; it’s just that you’re both from Poland.

      (Sorry about the tangent.)

  2. clement8899 on September 30, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    Happy Chinese National Day! Everyone

    • lindalindsch on September 30, 2013 at 5:02 pm

      Thanks Clement! what are you doing today? 🙂

  3. kinginmotion on September 30, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    That’s why it’s time for camping! Far away from the people, and closer to the cows and donkeys. Or, just stay at home…

    • lindalindsch on September 30, 2013 at 7:46 pm

      yeah that’s true! what are your plans?

      • kinginmotion on September 30, 2013 at 7:51 pm

        Camping! Though that doesn’t happen for another few days still… you?

        • lindalindsch on October 2, 2013 at 8:58 am

          nice where are you gonna go camping? where do you live? I have to work unfortunately and go to university.

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