Monday, November 06, 2006

Chinese Holidays

Official Chinese Holidays
New Year's Day (January 1)
Not as much celebrated as it is in other parts of the world because it is overshadowed by the upcoming Chinese New Year somewhere a month away. However, employees will enjoy a paid day-off. And there will be parties everywhere, in parks, dancing halls and universities where students will leave for the winter vacation and won't be able to celebrete the Chinese New Year on campus.
International Women's Day (March 8)
Interestingly, women employees will get a whole or an half paid day-off on the day while the men are at the mercy of their employers.
Tree-Planting Day (Arbor Day) (April 1)
Highly promoted since the late 70's by the reformist government and yet to become established. It marks the begriming of a greening campaign all over the country during the month each year. There is no paid leave on this day.
International Labor Day (May 1)
No less celebrated than the New Year's Day. Prompted by economic development and commercialization, employees are granted five days paid leave so that they can tour the country and do their shopping. Parades and organized parties on this day have become history.
Youth Day (May 4)
A day in memory of the first mass student movement in 1919—a movement touched off by the then Chinese government that gave in to the Japanese government's attempt to colonize Shandong Province. It is also an anti-Confucius movement as well as one that promoted the western scientific and democratic ideas. Today, youth rallies are rare, but parties and picnic outings are gaining popularity.
Children's Day (June 1)
It is the most memorable day of Chinese children. Access to almost all entertainment and educational facilities such as cinemas, parks and children's museums is free to them. Elementary schools throw celebration parties while parents shower them with presents.
The CCP's Birthday (July 1)
It marked the founding of the Chinese Communist Party in 1921 in Shanghai. It is usually characterized by front page editorials from major government news pagers. Employees do not have a paid leave day.
Army's Day (August 1)
A communist-led nationalist army staged the first armed uprising in Chinese communist history against the Nationalists on August 1, 1927. It was regarded as the beginning of the Red Army (later the People's Liberation Army). Now the anniversary is often used to promote better relationships between the army and civilians, a tradition believed to have helped it beat the Nationalists during the civil war in 1949. It is not a paid-leave day.
Teacher's Day (September 1)
It was started in the early eighties as an effort to reverse the anti-intellectual sentiment nurtured by the "Cultural Revolution". It has become an established holiday. However, it is yet to become a paid-leave day for the teachers.
National Day (October 1)
It is the anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949 in the wake of routing the Nationalists who have since taken refuge in Taiwan. Celebrations of the day went through different phases in history. Before 1960s, there were regular parades during the day and firework shows during the night in major cities. Later, the celebration was reduced to mere organized parties in parks. Beginning from the 1980's two grand parade happened in Beijing, each in the Deng Xiaoping and Jiang Zemin eras. Beginning from the late 1990s, Chinese employees have been given a week-long paid leave so that they can travel and spend to pump more money into the country's economic development. Both May 1 and October 1 weeks were called huangjinzhou, or "a week of gold." Fireworks and parties are integral part of the first day of the week of gold.


Barbara said...

I'm all for Women's Day!

Janene said...

I still hate Blogger ~

I think it's pretty cool that you are looking into Chinese customs...I'm sure your little girl will appreciate you knowing about her culture as well as all of the traditions you will pass on to her from your family!

Mommy Spice said...

How about Children's Day? Wow, don't tell our kids about it. It would be nice to take them somewhere fun for free though. I'm going to have to write some of these down.

PaPa said...

Hey Amy - just finished a very interesting book - also has a web site - worth looking at.

I'm lala's dad