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October 1, National Day of the People's Republic of China

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"The People's Central Government of PRC is the only legal government to stand for all people of PRC. Our government is willing to establish diplomatic relationship with any foreign government that agrees to abide by the principles of equality, mutual benefit, mutual respect for territorial integrity..."
-Chairman Mao Zedong from the Announcement of the People's Central Government of PRC

The PRC's National Day was declared at three o'clock on October 1, 1949, in front of 300,000 people during a ceremony in Tian'anmen Squeare. Chairman Mao declared the founding of the People's Republic and waved the first five-star PRC flag.

In past times, the day was marked by large political gatherings and speeches, military parades, state banquets and the like. Since 2000, as China's economy developed, the national holiday lasts seven days and most workers are given time off to visit relatives and take time for traveling.

Traveling during National Holidays

With a week off, many Chinese travel domestically and internationally. Travel fares double and triple and advance bookings must be made weeks, even months ahead for international travel. Hoards of tour groups flock to the major tourist destinations of China, so you can forget having a quite moment to ponder how the Great Wall was built.

If you can avoid it, it's advisable not to travel domestically during the week around October 1st. The latest statistics released publicly are from 2000 but according to these, 59.82 million people traveled during National Day holidays that year. Over two-thirds of all hotel beds were booked in major tourist destinations such as Beijing and Shanghai. However, if you are in China, you'll find the weather is usually very nice, and after October 1, almost everything from shops and restaurants to the post office will be open for business.

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