China National Holiday – Golden Week

By Angela Li, Foster Undergraduate who participated in an exchange with Peking University (PKU) in Beijing, China

Peking Angela Li 1Every year on October 1, China celebrates the National Day of the People’s Republic of China. It marks the date of celebration of the Central People’s Government in Tiananmen Square on October 1, 1949. National Day, October 1, marks the start of China’s Golden Week, the 7-day national holiday implemented in 2000. It’s a time where Chinese citizens are free from school and work to travel, and/or visit friends and family. It is one of the only two dates per year in which Chinese workers enjoy an extended period of holidays.Peking Angela Li 2

While I was on exchange this past semester, I spent my Golden week joining the herds of travelers, visiting both Inner Mongolia and Shanghai. I traveled to each city with a different group of friends, and had  an incredible experience visiting different parts of the country, comparing the cultural differences existing within each area. I particularly enjoyed our time in Inner Mongolia where we were able to experience both the Ordos Desert and the Xilamuren grassland. This trip was one of my favorite trips during my time abroad.

Inner Mongolia has a particularly interesting history marked by its history of strife between China and Mongolia. The cities we visited Peking Angela Li 3included Hohhot, Baotou, and Ordos. The region carried a dynamic mixture of Chinese and Mongolian culture, giving us a particularly unique experience of the diversity that exists within the large country of China. If you ever get the chance to go, I would definitely recommend spending a few days to experience the tourist attractions as well as the history of the area!