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How Much Do You Know about China's National Day?

Viewed 1093 times 2016-9-30 14:37 |System category:News

An oil painting, drawn by painter Guo Xifen, depicts the founding ceremony of the PRC. []


The Chinese National Day falls on October 1 each year. It celebrates the anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China (PRC). The National Day holiday, which lasts a whole week, is one of the seven public holidays in China as well as one of the two Golden Weeks along with Spring Festival (Chinese New Year).

Origin of the Date

On October 1, 1949, Mao Zedong (1893-1976) proclaimed the founding of the PRC at the Tian'anmen Gate Tower in Beijing.

The person who first proposed the idea of a National Day was Ma Xulun (1978-1983), then a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and a chief delegate from the Democratic Progressive Party.

At the first session of the 1st CPPCC on October 9, 1949, Member Xu Guangping (1898-1968) said: "Ma asked for leave but he entrusted me to pass on his idea that the PRC should have a National Day. October 1 is proposed." That day, the Resolution on the National Day of the People's Republic of China was adopted and submitted to the Central People's Government.

On December 2, 1949, the Central People's Government passed the Resolution, and declared October 1 as National Day. From 1950 onwards, each October 1 has been a grand occasion for Chinese people.


National Day Parade

Female soldiers take part in the military parade for the 60th anniversary of the founding of the PRC on October 1, 2009. [Xinhua/Zhao Peng]

Since the founding of the PRC, National Day has witnessed altogether 14 military parades. From 1949-1959, a parade took place annually. China then began encouraging frugality, and a further three ceremonies occurred in 1984 (marking the 35th anniversary), 1999 (marking the 50th anniversary) and 2009 (marking the 60th anniversary).

Changing the Portrait of Chairman Mao

Changing the portrait of Chairman Mao (September 28, 2013) [China Daily/Zhu Xingxin]

The portrait of Chairman Mao on the Tian'anmen Gate Tower has been changed prior to the National Day every year ever since 1949. The Tian'anmen Gate Tower has displayed altogether eight different versions of Chairman Mao's portrait. The current version, designated on October 1, 1967, is based on the fourth standard portrait of Mao, created by prestigious painter Wang Guodong.

Flag-raising Ceremony

More than 120,000 people watch the flag-raising ceremony at Tian’anmen Square in Beijing, on October 1, 2014. [Xinhua/Luo Xiaoguang]

The ceremonial raising of the national flag is an important part of celebrating National Day. Thousands of people flood to Tian'anmen Square in the capital to witness the ceremony, showing their respect for the national flag as well as their love for the nation.


Decorations for the National Day [ Lianzhen]

For every National Day, various Chinese enterprises and institutions hang red lanterns and banners with slogans, such as Qing Zhu Guo Qing or Huan Du Quo Qing (literally meaning "Celebrate National Day"). In addition, many public squares are filled with garden sculptures and balloons, adding a joyful atmosphere to the special occasion.

Golden Week

Tourists at Tian’anmen Square during the National Day holiday [Xinhua/Li Xin]

Since 1999, Chinese people have enjoyed a Golden Week for the National Day holiday from October 1-7. They usually take advantage of the holiday to travel or have family reunions.

(Source: and edited by Women of China)

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)




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