National Day of the People's Republic of China

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National Day of the People's Republic of China
National Day decorations - Beihai Park.JPG
Flower garden at Beihai Park in 2004
The signboards read 「国庆」 (guóqìng; literally "national celebration"), i.e. "National Day".
Also calledChina Day, China's birthday, PRC Day, 10-1
Observed byPeople's Republic of China including Hong Kong and Macau
TypeHistorical, cultural, nationalist
SignificanceThe day of the proclamation of the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949
CelebrationsFestivities, including fireworks and concerts (a grand military parade every several years)
Date1 October
Next time1 October 2023 (2023-10-01)
First time1 October 1949
National Day of the People's Republic of China
Simplified Chinese国庆节
Traditional Chinese國慶節
Literal meaningnational celebration holiday

National Day (Chinese: 国庆节; pinyin: guóqìng jié; lit. 'national celebration day'), officially the National Day of the People's Republic of China (中华人民共和国国庆节), is a public holiday in China celebrated annually on 1 October as the national day of the People's Republic of China, commemorating the formal proclamation of the establishment of the People's Republic of China on 1 October 1949. The Chinese Communist Party victory in the Chinese Civil War resulted in the Kuomintang retreat to Taiwan and the Chinese Communist Revolution whereby the People's Republic of China "replaced" the Republic of China.[1][2]

Although it is observed on 1 October, another six days are added to the official holiday, normally in lieu of the two weekend breaks around 1 October, making it a de facto public holiday comprising seven consecutive days also known as Golden Week (黄金周; huángjīn zhōu) with specifics regulated by the State Council.[3] Festivities and concerts are usually held nationwide on this day, with a grand military parade and mass pageant event held on select years.[A] The parade held on 1 October 2019 marked the 70th anniversary of the People's Republic of China.


The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) defeated the incumbent Kuomintang (KMT) nationalist government of the Republic of China in the Chinese Civil War that took place from 1927 to 1950 except for a brief alliance against Japan in the Second Sino-Japanese War. In its aftermath, the nationalist government withdrew to the island of Taiwan, previously a prefecture of the Qing Empire that was ceded to Japan under its colonial rule from 1895 to 1945.

The People's Republic of China was founded on 1 October 1949, with a ceremony celebrating the forming of the Central People's Government taking place in Tiananmen Square in its new national capital of Peking (previously Peiping) on the same day that year.[5] The first public parade of the new People's Liberation Army took place there, following the address by the country's first Chairman Mao Zedong officially declaring the formal establishment of the Republic.[6] The Central People's Government passed the Resolution on the National Day of the People's Republic of China on 3 December 1949, and declared that 1 October is the National Day.

National celebrations[edit]

National Day marks the start of a Golden Week, a weeklong public holiday.[7][8][9]

The day is celebrated throughout mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau with a variety of government-organized festivities, including fireworks and concerts, as well as sports events and cultural events. Public places, such as Tiananmen Square in Beijing, are decorated in a festive theme. Portraits of revered leaders, such as Mao Zedong, are publicly displayed.[10] The holiday is also celebrated by many overseas Chinese.

Wreath-laying ceremony at the Monument to the People's Heroes[edit]

From 2004 to 2013, a national wreath-laying ceremony was held on National Day in Tiananmen Square following the flag raising ceremony on years with no parades. The ceremony was centered on the Monument to the People's Heroes, built in 1958 in remembrance of the millions of Chinese who perished during the long years of national struggle. Beginning in 2014, they have been held on a new holiday, Martyrs' Day, set on the eve of National Day, 30 September, and is presided by party and state leaders.[11]

National flag-raising ceremony[edit]

In some years, a flag-raising ceremony has been held at Tiananmen Square in the morning if no parade is scheduled.[12] For many years, the 6 a.m. National Day flag-raising ceremony is the more important act on years without any anniversary parades. Held at the Tiananmen Square, since 2017 the Beijing Garrison Honor Guard Battalion's Color Guard Company is present for the ceremony with the National Marching Band of the PLA. Until 2016 the Beijing People's Armed Police units provided men for the ceremonial color guard. The ceremony is open to the general public and tourists and is widely televised and streamed online for viewers at home and aboard. At the end of the ceremony, doves are released.

National civil-military parade[edit]

Marshal Lin Biao surveying the soldiers during the 10th anniversary military parade in 1959.

The special civil-military parade of the People's Liberation Army, People's Armed Police and the Militia together with representatives of the people of all walks of life including the Young Pioneers of China is held on special years in the morning of National Day itself. It has since 1984 been televised on China Central Television since 1984 (and broadcast around the world from that year as well via satellite and cable television), is a key highlight of the national celebrations in Beijing.[13] The parade was annual from 1950-59 and terminated until 1984.[14] There was a parade planned for 1989 but was cancelled following the June 4th crackdown. Parades were held again in 1999 and 2009.[15][16][17]

The parade is overseen by the president of the People's Republic of China as well as other top leadership.[17]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Since the founding of the people's republic to 2009, the country has held 14 National Day grand military parades in 1949–1959, 1984, 1999, and 2009.[4]


  1. ^ "Flag-raising ceremony held for China's National Day celebration". Xinhua News Agency. 1 October 2009. Archived from the original on 4 October 2009. Retrieved 30 April 2011.
  2. ^ Westad, Odd (2003). Decisive Encounters: The Chinese Civil War, 1946–1950. Stanford University Press. p. 305. ISBN 978-0-8047-4484-3.
  3. ^ "国务院办公厅关于2019年部分节假日安排的通知" [Notice of the General Office of the State Council on Some Holiday Arrangements in 2019]. 4 December 2018. Archived from the original on 18 May 2019. Retrieved 29 September 2019.
  4. ^ 新中国历次大阅兵 [New China's previous grand military parades]. Xinhua News Agency. 21 August 2009. Archived from the original on 27 December 2009. Retrieved 26 September 2019.
  5. ^ "China National Day: October 1st, Golden Week". Archived from the original on 20 April 2016. Retrieved 7 April 2016.
  6. ^ "China says National Day parade 'won't disappoint' in scale or weapons". South China Morning Post. 24 September 2019. Retrieved 1 October 2022.
  7. ^ "China National Day holiday 2018". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 1 October 2022.
  8. ^ "Disappointing start to 'golden week' for Hong Kong retailers". South China Morning Post. 1 October 2020. Retrieved 1 October 2022.
  9. ^ "Golden Week 2022, 2023 and 2024". Retrieved 1 October 2022.
  10. ^ "China celebrates with elaborate display of power and ideology". The Irish Times. 2 October 2009. Archived from the original on 17 October 2012. Retrieved 30 April 2011.
  11. ^ "First national Martyrs' Day remembers those who sacrificed for China". South China Morning Post. 30 September 2014. Retrieved 2 October 2022.
  12. ^ "National Day celebrated across China". Xinhua News Agency. 1 October 2009. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 30 April 2011.
  13. ^ "The history of the People's Republic of China – through 70 years of mass parades". Archived from the original on 1 October 2019. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  14. ^ "The history of the People's Republic of China – through 70 years of mass parades". Retrieved 1 October 2022.
  15. ^ "1960年至1983年为什么没有国庆阅兵". Archived from the original on 8 October 2019. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  16. ^ Hung, Chang-tai (2007). "Mao's Parades: State Spectacles in China in the 1950s" (PDF). The China Quarterly. 190 (190): 411–431. doi:10.1017/S0305741007001269. JSTOR 20192777. S2CID 154319855. Archived (PDF) from the original on 13 August 2017. Retrieved 16 October 2019.
  17. ^ a b Hwang, Yih-Jye; Schneider, Florian (2011). "Performance, Meaning, and Ideology in the Making of Legitimacy: The Celebrations of the People's Republic of China's Sixty-Year Anniversary". China Review. 11 (1): 27–55. ISSN 1680-2012. Retrieved 2 October 2022.
  18. ^ Fu, Ying (16 July 2008). "China at 60: Nostalgia and progress". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 8 September 2013. Retrieved 30 April 2011.

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