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.
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. Festivities and concerts are usually held nationwide on this day, with a grand military parade and mass pageant event held on select years. 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 internationally recognized government of China 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. 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 2 December 1949, and declared that 1 October is the National Day.
National Day marks the start of the only golden week (黄金周) 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. The holiday is also celebrated by many overseas Chinese.