On the 1st of October, it’s National Day. The day on which China became a republic. This day isn’t just about independence, it’s also a day to remember the historical events that led to this independence. A day to remind us of the significance of the national symbols, the flag and the anthem. It’s the second most important national holiday in China after the Spring Festival (Chinese New Year).
This year, National Day is even more special than other years. Because this year, the Republic of China celebrates its 70th anniversary. 70 years of PRC, People’s Republic of China. The Chinese republic was founded on 1 October 1949. Well, the official day on which the Republic of China was proclaimed was actually the 21 of September. But the big ceremony on Tiananmen Square celebrating the formation of the central government of the new country took place on 1 October. On 2 October of that same year, a resolution was passed to establish 1 October as the country’s National Day. From 1950 onwards, every 1st of October has always been celebrated in great style.
The national holiday lasts a week. That includes three official days off. The remaining four are usually added in the form of two weekend days and two working days that are made up for on the weekend before or after. The whole week is also referred to as Golden Week. That’s because it falls in autumn, when temperatures are no longer too high, but not too low either, and the weather is usually sunny and dry.
Ideal weather for travelling. And that’s exactly what the Chinese do during this week. Just like during the Spring Festival, everyone goes away; often back to their home soil, visiting relatives in other parts of the country, or to tourist attractions. It actually makes you want to stay at home yourself, because the roads, train stations and airports all get incredibly full. If you really have to travel, it’s best to do it in the middle of that week. The first and last days, when everyone leaves and returns to their homes, are really impossible.
The term Golden Week was introduced in the year 2000, when China was developing rapidly and their economy was booming. A bit like the Dutch Golden Age. I wonder whether it will last for 100 years in China too, or perhaps even longer?
National Day, Golden Week, a week that’s all about true love for China.
General manager, Van den Berg Roses, China