How Do 1.3 Billion Chinese People Celebrate “National Day”?

HSK 3 quiz
Key Learning Points (Preview):

国庆节 (Guóqìng jié) n. National Day

黄金周 (Huángjīn zhōu) n. golden week
爬山 (Páshān) v. mountain hiking
阅兵仪式 (Yuèbīng yíshì) n. the military parade
October first is “国庆节 (Guóqìng jié) National Day” in China, and commemorates the establishment of present-day China. “节 (jié)” means “festival;” ” 国庆 (guóqìng)” is short for “国家喜庆之事 (guójiā xǐqìng zhī shì) the country’s joyous moments.” In ancient China, the biggest and most joyous event for the whole country was the coronation of a new emperor. In modern China, “国庆节 (Guóqìng jié) National day” refers to the birth of the People’s Republic of China.
“国庆节 (Guóqìng jié) National Day,” lasting for seven days, besides the Spring Festival, is the longest holiday of the year. During this holiday, people will spend lots of money on entertainment or shopping, so this holiday week is also referred to as “黄金周 (huángjīn zhōu) golden week.” “黄金 (huángjīn)” means “golden,” “周 (zhōu)” means “week.” The four biggest activities for “黄金周 (huángjīn zhōu) golden week” are traveling, shopping, getting married and watching the military parade.

1. Traveling

Taking advantage of having seven days off from work or school, many people choose to travel to another “城市 (chéngshì) city” or country. Enjoying activities such as “爬山 (páshān) climbing mountains,” tasting local snacks and enjoying the beautiful natural scenery of China are all also popular choices.

2. Getting married

Many young lovers choose to get married on National Day, because they want to make their love and wedding ceremony more glorious and meaningful. Not only can they have more time to spend on their “蜜月 (mìyuè) honeymoon,” but also the long holiday makes it more convenient for their relatives and friends to “参加 (cānjiā) attend” the wedding ceremony.

3. Shopping

Many businesses take advantage of the holiday, they will hold all kinds of “促销 (cùxiāo) promotional” actives, and customers are able to buy many items cheaper than usual.

4. Watching the military parade

The Chinese government organizes “阅兵仪式 (yuèbīng yíshì) a military parade” every fifth or tenth anniversary of the National Day celebrations, which is a good way to test and showcase the strength of the Chinese army.
This tradition goes all the way back to the founding of the People’s Republic of China when the CPPCC (Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference) first made the parade an important part of the National Day ceremony. On October 1st, most Chinese people will watch the parade live online on TV, and get a feel for the orderly and organized military stance of the Chinese army, admire the modern-feel of the Chinese armed forces and therefore feel a greater sense of Chinese national self-confidence and pride.

Key Learning Points:
1. 国庆节 (Guóqìng jié): n. National Day

Guóqìng jié jiù yào lái le.
National Day is approaching.

2. 黄金周 (Huángjīn zhōu) n. golden week

Calvin: Shíyī huángjīn zhōu dàole, nǐ dǎsuàn qù nǎlǐ?
Calvin: 十一 黄金周到了,你打算去哪里?
Calvin: The National Day golden week is coming. Where do you plan to go?
Lily: Wǒ dǎsuàn qù Bīngmǎyǒng kànkan.
Lily: 我打算去兵马俑看看。
Lily: I plan to go to see the Terra Cotta Warriors.


“十一 (Shíyī)” in this sentence means October first; it’s the National Day of China.

3. 爬山 (Páshān) v. mountain hiking
“爬 (pá)” means “to climb;” “山 (shān)” means “mountain.”
Lǎogōng: Qīn’ài de, Guóqìng jié zánmen qù pá Huángshān ba?
老公: 亲爱的,国庆节咱们去爬黄山吧?
Husband: Honey, shall we climb mountain Huangshan on National Day?

Lǎopo: Hǎo ā!
Wife: Ok, great!

4. 阅兵仪式 (Yuèbīng yíshì) n. the military parade

Tā zài Tiānānmén guǎngchǎng shàng guānkàn le yuèbīng yíshì.
She watched the military parades at Tiānānmén Square.

HSK 3 quiz

1. What does “黄金周 (huángjīn zhōu)” mean in China?

A. National holiday
B. Weekend
C. Weekdays
D. Mid-Autumn Festival

You may be interested in more Chinese festivals:

中国元宵节 The Chinese Lantern Festival (Intermediate)
Video Lesson: 春节 (chūnjié) Chinese New Year/Spring Festival(Intermediate)
Chinese Nursery Rhyme: 中秋节(Zhōngqiūjié) Mid-autumn Festival
Chinese Culture
General Chinese (Beginner Level)
General Chinese (Intermediate Level)

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