Monday, October 3, 2011

Mandarin Mondays: 国庆节

Beautiful Country
This week, China is celebrating its National Day (guó qìng jié, 国庆节). The official National Day is October 1st, which signifies when the People's Republic of China was declared a nation on October 1st, 1949. However, National Day here is a much bigger countrywide celebration than America's Independence Day, and they celebrate for a whole week long. This is one of China's two Golden Weeks (huáng jīn zhōu, 黄金周), week long holidays. The other Golden Week is the Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring festival (chūn jié, 春节).

During these Golden Weeks many, many people travel because it is the most time they get off in a row all year. So if you don't have to travel during these weeks, you may wish to stay home. Planes, trains, and buses will all likely be packed.

Much like America, traditional National Day celebrations include fireworks and concerts. In honor of National Day we are doing a China, or Middle Kingdom (zhōng guó, 中国), unit study for the month of October. I plan on sharing a few things we are learning about this fascinating country's history each Monday this month, so we can learn about it together.

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