China National Day
October 1st is Chinese National Day. National Day, celebrating the foundation of the People's Republic of China, is one of the seven legal holidays in China. In fact, National Day has appeared for a very long time and should go back to ancient times. It started in the Western Jin Dynasty (265-316) and originated from the felicitations of happy events in the country. In the feudal period, the emperor enthronement ceremony and the birthday of the emperor were main events to celebrate. That was National Day in ancient times, while National Day has a different meaning today. It is to celebrate the foundation of the People's Republic of China, in 1949.
There will be a variety of grand ceremonies and activities in China during National Day, such as a great ceremonial review of troops and lighting fireworks in the evening. National Day lasts 3 days since the year 1997. But people actually get a 7-day vacation which combines National Day holiday and two weekends on either side. National Day holiday is another golden week in China. People will rush out to do some long-cherished travel, go shopping and do some other things.
Origin of the Date
For centuries, China was ruled by a series of dynasties that supplanted each other by scheduled and formal occasion and after a sudden and unexpected five-hour civil war in 1949, after more than hundred years of struggle against the foreign presence, the people finally won their independence supervised by the Chinese communist party.
The Communists led by Mao Zedong poster hanging on Tiananmen Gate took over China and on October 1st, 1949, the Chairman Mao Zedong declared the creation of New China down from the Tiananmen Square. The first session of the primary Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) determined in 1949 to fix on October 1 the date of the National Day. On October 1, 1949, the People's Republic of China was formally established, with its national capital in Beijing. With the help of the Soviets, Mao began reforming the government and the social order of China and the entire society of China was transformed in just a few years.
As far as official celebrations are concerned, the biggest is National Day, which in the pre-form era was marked by parades in most cities, and a monumental parade in Beijing witnessed by China’s top leaders standing on a podium at the head of enormous Tiananmen Square.
China National Day’s parade
Chinese National Day is a public holiday to be celebrated every year. Companies hang lanterns to celebrate National Day and lots of people go to travel at home or abroad. National Day is another golden week for the Chinese and brings another peak travel period in China. The government plays an irreplaceable role in the felicitations.
The government and military make an effort to the National Day’s Parade including the careful selections of soldiers and residents. For example, the height is an important element to select. Thousands of soldiers and civilians take part in the massive parades on National Day. China National Day’s parade which usually is held every ten years is absolutely sublime and spectacular.
Usually, National Day’s parade starts at 10:00 in the morning on October 1st on Tian'anmen Square. The ceremonial raising of the national flag is the second part of the parade. The Leader of China takes a parade car to come into people’s sight. The joint headquarters for the military parade will make a statement. Then National Day’s parade consists of a military review and march-past which totally last about 66 minutes. In general, each formation of march-past goes though the Tian’anmen Square in order. There were 14 foot team formations, 30 equipment square matrixes and 12 echelon formations in 2009. The tanks rolled through the central part of Beijing, and fighter planes showed overhead. Fifty-two new types of weapon which were made in China revealed in the parade, including the latest nuclear missiles.
In 2009, there was a formation which consisted of foreigners in China National Day’s parade. It was the first time that foreigners took part in the parade since the People's Republic of China was founded in 1949. A total of 181 foreigners who come from 53 countries attended the parade. They were overseas students studying in Beijing and foreign experts and representatives from foreign companies.
Foreigner wore Chinese style dress or their national costumes with a print of “One World” and other dressed a T-shirts with “I love China” on them. They were waving the China's national flags in the parade. The international formation showed the development and Chinese prays of the world peace to the rest of the world. Foreigners used to be audiences in the past, but now they can participate in a so important parade on such a special day. The National Day parade successfully demonstrated the positive image of China which shows the increasing military power of China and desirers to uphold world peace.
Besides, there will be a live celebration about National Day’s parade on TV. A splendor firework display is set off to light the sky brightly and gallantly in the evening. Security is quite tight on National Day, so it is a wise decision to avoid going out for the citizens in Beijing. Every city will be decorated festively and filled with a variety of festival activities. For example, the small size bright-colored Five-star Red Flags are on the sides of the streets in Shanghai. The ceremonial raising of the national flag is held solemnly in Lhasa –the capital of Tibet.
All the places of interesst in China are literally gobbled up by a sea of tourists who take advantage of the National holiday to travel around in the country. Thus, it's not so convenient for foreign travelers to travel during this period. Tickets and hotels should be booked several days in advance. Or, you'd better avoid this peak traveling period.