Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,
Today marks the beginning of another set of holidays for me but sadly only eight days…hahahaha!
It also marks the People’s Republic of China’s 60th birthday which is half the reason for the eight day holiday, the other being Mid Autumn Festival which will be another blog so I won’t bother explaining it here except for, its all about harvest time and moon cakes. The last few weeks it really has been going off here noise wise and I still can’t figure out why. I’ve asked many people if there have been several 'festivals’ that I don’t know about and I always get the same answer…No. I then ask why there are so many firecrackers being let off each day and most tell me the reason is because people are happy and how can I argue with that.
So I guess if husband, wife or child wakes up or comes home with a big smile they are welcomed with; You look so happy dear, here’s a box of fireworks now go out and play with your friends.
Another thing that has been going off here are water balloons and water pistols and I, being the child that I am have purchased myself a water pistol and can be found hiding around corners waiting for my unsuspecting victims (students) whom also give me the same watery surprise. Try doing that back home! Life here really is so simple and beautiful that I can no longer comprehend living any other way from. Think about a life where you can race in and out of a supermarket or a bank shooting each other with water pistols with out fear and no matter how old you are.
It is so comparable to Australia in the late seventies and early eighties.
Today I was woken by huge fireworks, drums, music and so much laughter. I quickly showered and dressed and then headed out to join everyone in the streets. Many of my students found me and of course it was a long and over due payback on their behalf with their water pistols before we stopped to snack at various street stalls before I headed home grab my bike.
I decided to head east along the highway and see where I ended up. I have never actually ridden this way before.
After about twenty minutes I passed the train station and not long after I spotted a village near the mountains in the distance so I took the next small track through the fields and not long after I spotted a most unexpected sight in the distance. Just above the tree line was a cross so I quickly pointed my front wheel in its direction and with a small group of children chasing me I headed to church. We all ended up in a noisy mess outside the small gates of the Catholic Church where I was saved by a happy young couple who after shooing the children away and a quick chat raced off trying to find the person who had the keys but sadly returned empty handed.
I did find out that the church was around ten years old.
A church is the last thing that I expect to find in such a small village as they usually have small ancestral temples but I was actually over joyed to find it as I have been watching a TV series I found on DVD called The Tudors which of course is about the life of King Henry the 8th and the not so happy partings of not only the Church but also uncountable heads from bodies. It is a period of history that I once loved to study and spent countless hours at the Council of Adult Education in Melbourne city attending courses
For those who are based in Melbourne or who find themselves in Melbourne city for a time, who love to study for no reason than the love of study then Council of Adult Education is the place for you. To choose a course I used to close my eyes, open the course guide and point and what ever my finger landed on was what I paid a small fee for and studied for the next what ever amount of weeks or months. By doing this I ended up in the most amazing courses such as Multicult Art Of Book Of Kells, CELTIAD 97: Life and Learning – Irish Monastery, CELTIAD 97: St Patrick, AUSLAN (Australian Sign Language) and Working Effectively with people with an Intellectual Disability’ to name but a few.
If there is one thing, other than my friends and family that I miss back home it would have to be the CAE and the Melbourne Theosophical Bookshop and Library.
Beers N Noodles toya…..shane PS: Beneath the photos you can find soem information on Chinese National Day ___________________________________________________________________
The soundtrack to this entry was by Crowded House The album was ‘Recurring Dream’ ____________________________________________________________________
The National Day is a designated date on which celebrations mark the nationhood of a nation or non-sovereign country. This nationhood can be symbolized by the date of independence, of becoming republic or a significant date for a patron saint or a ruler (birthday, accession, removal etc). Often the day is not called "National Day” but serves and can be considered as one. The National Day will often be a national holiday.
Some countries have more than one National Day. For example, Pakistan has three National Days, none of which is named the ”National Day”. This signals the use of a ”class” of National Days, that are equally important in the foundation of the nation, and a ”class” of less important official public holidays.
Importance attached to the National Day as well as the degree to which it is celebrated vary enormously from country to country. Most countries have a fixed date National Day, but some have movable dates. An example here is Jamaica, which celebrates its National Day on the first Monday in August. This commemorates independence from the United Kingdom which was attained on Monday, 6 August 1962 - the first Monday in August of that year. Another example is Thailand which celebrates the birthday of the King on 5 December. This date will change on the accession of the heir to the throne
October 1st is the anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949 and celebrated as China’s National Holiday. Since the National Party Plenum meeting in May 1999, Chinese people have been guaranteed a week off during the holiday, turning the holiday into both a patriotic and economic fixture of the Autumn season. In folk parlance, National Day is referred to as one of the "Golden Weeks”, of the year, the other one being the week during the Chinese Lunar New Year.
<u>History of China's National Day</u>
On October 1st in 1949 the Chinese people, under the leadership of Communist Party of China, declared victory in War of Liberation against the Nationalist forces of Chiang Kai Shek. The grand ceremony for the founding of People's Republic of China was held on this day in Tiananmen Square in Beijing. Mao Zedong, Chairman of the Central People's Government, solemnly declared the founding of P.R.C. at the ceremony and raised the first national flag of China himself. 300,000 soldiers and people gathered on the square for the grand parade and procession.
<u>Celebrations of China's National Day</u>
The National Day Parade
The National Day Parade was designated by CPPCC as an important component of the grand ceremony for the founding of P.R.C. From 1949 to 1959, eleven national parades were held on October first, though no national parades were held for the next twenty four years. It was not until 1984 that the national parade was resumed by the then Central People's Government at the urging of Comrade Deng Xiaoping on the thirty-fifth National Day of the P.R.C. Since that time, when the anniversary is a multiple of five (e.g. the 50th, 55th, or 60th), large scale state functions may be held such as the inspection of troops in Tiananmen Square. Therefore, there will be a Grand National Day Parade in 2009 for celebrating the 60th anniversary of the funding of P.R.C.
<u>Hanging Red Chinese Lanterns</u>
During China's National Day, red lanterns are seen everywhere, especially hanging at the gates of government office buildings as well as all kinds of stores and shops. The red lantern is a symbol of festivity, luck and happiness.