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National Day 国庆节 – Chinese Festivals

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Chinese Name: 国庆节

English Name: National Day

Time & Duration: Octomber 1

National Day 国庆节
National Day 国庆节

Brief introduction

National Day 国庆节 is a statutory holiday established by a country to commemorate the country itself. They are usually the independence of the country, the signing of the constitution, the birthday of the head of state, or other anniversaries of great commemorative significance; some are also Saints’ Day, the patron saint of the country. On this special day, every Chinese has a seven-day holiday

National Day 国庆节
National Day 国庆节

The origin of the National Day

The term “National Day” originally refers to a national celebration, which was first seen in the Western Jin Dynasty 晋朝. In the feudal era of our country, the most important event of national celebration is the emperor’s enthronement and birthday. Therefore, in ancient China, the emperor’s accession to the throne and his birthday were called “National Day”. Today the anniversary of the founding of the nation is called National Day.

On December 2, 1949, the Central People’s Government decided that October 1 each year would be the great day when the People’s Republic of China was proclaimed the National Day of the People’s Republic of China. Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China on October 1, 1949, the way of celebrating this day has changed several times.

Tiananmen Square 天安门广场
Tiananmen Square 天安门广场

In the early days of the founding of New China (1950-1959), large-scale celebrations and military parades were held on this special day every year. In September 1960, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council decided to reform the celebration system in line with the policy of building a country with diligence and thrift. Since then, from 1960 to 1970, grand rallies and mass parades were held in front of Tiananmen Square 天安门广场, but no military parade was held.

Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, there have been 15 military parades during National Day celebrations. They were 11 times between 1949 and 1959, and four times during the 35th anniversary in 1984, the 50th anniversary in 1999, the 60th anniversary in 2009, and the 70th anniversary in 2019.

The holiday meaning of the National Day

National Day is a feature of the modern nation-state, which appeared with the emergence of the modern nation-state, and has become particularly important. It became the symbol of an independent country, reflecting the state and polity of the country.

Once the special commemorative method of National Day becomes a new and national holiday form, it will carry the function of reflecting the cohesion of the country and the nation. At the same time, the large-scale celebrations on this day are also a concrete manifestation of the government’s mobilization and appeal. Showing strength, enhancing national confidence, embodying cohesion, and exerting appeal are the three basic characteristics of this unique festival.

Folk-Custom Activity

National Day, all countries should hold different forms of celebrations to strengthen the patriotic awareness of their own people and enhance the cohesion of the country. Countries should also congratulate each other. Every five or ten years of National Day, some even expand the scale of the celebration.

In order to celebrate this important festival, governments of various countries usually hold a National Day reception, which is hosted by the head of state, head of government or foreign minister, and the envoys and other important foreign guests who are stationed in the local area are invited to attend. However, some countries do not hold receptions, such as the United States and the United Kingdom, which do not hold receptions.

Whenever this festival is mentioned, the most impressive thing is China’s military parade. The Chinese National Day Parade refers to an extremely grand military ceremony held at the National Day Ceremony by the important armed forces of the People’s Republic of China under the leadership of the Communist Party of China.

70th anniversary military parade 70周年阅兵
70th-anniversary military parade 70周年阅兵

The military parade is an important form of embodying the national prestige of the People’s Republic of China, the military prestige of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, and the majesty of the Chinese nation.

All military parades have reported to the Chinese people new achievements in the construction of the armed forces. The military parade demonstrated national sovereignty, highlighted national defence strength, and demonstrated the strength and determination of the Chinese government to safeguard national and regional security.

Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, a total of 14 National Day military parades have been held, of which the most influential and most representative are the founding ceremony, the 5th, 10th, 35th, 50th, 60th and 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.


China marks the 70th anniversary of its founding with a military parade (中国以阅兵式庆祝建国70周年)

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