How I spent China’s National Day

On this day in 1949 Mao Zedong proclaimed the foundation of the People’s Republic of China.

This also marked the end of a long civil war fought between the forces led by the Kuomintang and the forces led by the Communist Party of China. The 1st of October was declared the National Day of the People’s Republic of China.

During China’s National Day, just like in any other country, lots of events are organized, people sell flags at street corners and large displays of fireworks are arranged.  The cooler part is that in PRC this event starts a public holiday which lasts until the 7th of October. This 7 days long break is also called The Golden Week and is the 2nd longest public holiday in China, after the Spring Festival.

Since they are free from work or school, many Chinese people want to travel around China on this holiday. They do the same on the 1st of May and during the Spring Festival, although then it’s slightly different, because their sole purpose for traveling is returning to their hometowns (CNN called this the largest human migration).

As for myself, last year I tried to take advantage of all the school breaks to travel around. I did this during the National Day, during the Spring Festival and then on the 1st of May.

Last year in Shanghai during China's National Day
Last year in Shanghai during China’s National Day

The last time I promised myself not to travel again in China during public holidays.

Although starting with today I am free for one week, I will not go anywhere and I will stay in my room. Not even to check if some parade is organized in the Bund area. Streets, museums, parks, subways are all incredibly crowded and it becomes very difficult to enjoy what you’re visiting. People from all over China will want to visit the same things like you, the only difference is that they can manage crowds better.

On the 1st of May I was travelling to the Bataling section of the Great Wall of China and, although the distance from Beijing’s city center was only 80km, it took us 3 hours to reach the destination due to heavy traffic. Once we got on the Great Wall I started to be afraid I will witness a historical moment and this old monument will collapse under the weight of all those people visiting…

It’s called the Great Wall because it can hold a great amount of people. The small white lines that you see on the left of the image are buses bringing visitors

Just in case it will get too boring in the vicinity of my campus, in one of the following days I will maybe visit the Shanghai Museum of Science and Technology, which I heard is a must see; but during the National Day the wisest decision I could make was to enjoy the silence of my room.

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1 Comment

  1. Liviu Dimulescu says: Reply

    Wise choice my friend, wise choice. And while you’re at it, you could also take some time to breathe, in the half-lotus or full lotus position. Zen meditation it one of China’s most important developments, at least for me. It’s a way of celebrating this marvelous country. So cheers, and may the red dragon inspire you 🙂

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