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 "country celebration"), i.e. "National Day".
Also calledChina Day, China's birthday, PRC Day, 10-1
Observed byChina People's Republic of China including Hong Kong Hong Kong and Macau 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)
DateOctober 1
Next time1 October 2021 (2021-10-01)
First time1 October 1949
National Day of the People's Republic of China
Simplified Chinese国庆节
Traditional Chinese國慶節
Literal meaningcountry celebrate holiday
Tiananmen Square, 2006 National Day of the PRC. The placard reads "Warmly celebrate the 57th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China". The portrait is that of Sun Yat-sen.[1]

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 October 1 as the national day of the People's Republic of China, commemorating the formal establishment of the People's Republic of China on October 1, 1949. The Chinese Communist Party victory in the Chinese Civil War resulted in the Kuomintang retreat to Taiwan and the Chinese Communist Revolution in which the People's Republic of China replaced the Republic of China.[2][3]

Although it is observed on October 1, another six days are added to the official holiday, normally in lieu of the two weekend breaks around October 1, 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.[4] 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 October 1, 2019 marked the 70th anniversary of the People's Republic of China.


The People's Republic of China was founded on October 1, 1949, with a ceremony celebrating the forming of the Central People's Government taking place in Tiananmen Square on the same day that year.[6] 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. The Central People's Government passed the Resolution on the National Day of the People's Republic of China on December 2, 1949, and declared that October 1 is the National Day.[7]

National celebrations[edit]

National Day marks the start of the only Golden Weeks in the PRC that the government has kept. Removing one of the Golden Weeks caused controversies when it happened in 2007.

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.[8] 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, National Memorial Day, set on the eve of National Day, September 30, and is presided by the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (China's paramount leader) and other party and state leaders.

Publication of the National Day Honors List[edit]

An old tradition revived in the 2019 is the publication of the "National Day Honors List" by the State Council as a measure of national gratitude and recognition of services rendered by a number of local and foreign-born individuals in charitable actions, as role models to the Chinese people, in contributing to the growth of the economy and the nation's sporting prestige, in fostering diplomatic relations with countries of the world and preserving and promoting Chinese culture and the arts by their appointment as recipients of national medals and national honorary titles in the name of the state. The President and General Secretary is the presiding officer of the awarding ceremony, which usually is held in the Great Hall of the People days before National Day itself.

National flag-raising ceremony[edit]

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.

National civil-military parade[edit]

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

The extraordinary 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.[9] Since the parade of 1950, parades have been held on National Day every 10 years (a format which began in 1999) while there were formerly yearly parades held until 1959 when the CPC decided that the holiday would be celebrated "with frugality".[10][11]

The parade is overseen by the paramount leader in his political duty as General Secretary of the Communist Party of China and constitutional mandate as President of the People's Republic of China, as well as military leadership as the Chairman of the Central Military Commission.

The paramount leader is accompanied on the rostrum on the Tiananmen Gate by:


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.[5]


  1. ^ Fu, Ying (2008-07-16). "China at 60: Nostalgia and progress". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 2013-09-08. Retrieved 2011-04-30.
  2. ^ "Flag-raising ceremony held for China's National Day celebration". Xinhua News Agency. 2009-10-01. Archived from the original on 2009-10-04. Retrieved 2011-04-30.
  3. ^ Westad, Odd (2003). Decisive Encounters: The Chinese Civil War, 1946–1950. Stanford University Press. p. 305. ISBN 978-0-8047-4484-3.
  4. ^ "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]. 2018-12-04. Archived from the original on 2019-05-18. Retrieved 2019-09-29.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ "China National Day: October 1st, Golden Week". Archived from the original on 2016-04-20. Retrieved 2016-04-07.
  7. ^ "National Day celebrated across China". Xinhua News Agency. 2009-10-01. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2011-04-30.
  8. ^ "China celebrates with elaborate display of power and ideology". The Irish Times. 2009-10-02. Archived from the original on 2012-10-17. Retrieved 2011-04-30.
  9. ^ "The history of the People's Republic of China – through 70 years of mass parades". Archived from the original on 2019-10-01. Retrieved 2019-10-08.
  10. ^ "1960年至1983年为什么没有国庆阅兵". Archived from the original on 2019-10-08. Retrieved 2019-10-08.
  11. ^ 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. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2017-08-13. Retrieved 2019-10-16.

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