How To: Celebrate Golden Week

Golden Week

Golden week in China is the first seven days of October. It’s an annual holiday where there’s heightened short and long distance travel activity. Regardless if you’re traveling or staying home for the week-long holiday, here are some tips on how to celebrate efficiently!

1. Travel Light

Streets will be more crowded than usual which means increased chances of theft. So, we highly recommend traveling with only what you need. Especially if you’re traveling to Beijing’s Tiananmen Square for the National Day Celebration, it’s best to keep your bag light as you’ll be in for a tight squeeze!

2. Book Shipments Early

Make the best out of your holiday by getting your important shipments delivered on time and within your budget. Shipment prices increase during this time. Therefore, for ocean shipments, it’s recommended you book 2-3 weeks prior to Golden Week. However, for air shipments, it’s recommended to book 1 week prior to Golden Week.

3. Plan In Advance

Planning in advance to avoid the crowds is always a good idea. While tourist attractions will undoubtedly be notoriously crowded, try planning your schedule accordingly to avoid the price hikes and crowds.

Interesting Facts About Golden Week

One of the most famous attractions during this holiday is the flag raising festival that happens in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. Other celebratory activities include a National Day reception, variety shows, and the fireworks display.

Technically, Golden Week is officially three days. However, its usually extended by bridge holidays compensated by working on weekends.

In December 1949, the Chinese Government passed the Resolution on the National Day of China. A year after, grand rallies and massive military parades were held to mark and celebrate the National Day. This lasted for nine years until 1959.

Does your country have something similar to Golden Week? What would you do with a week off?

Traditional Customs Of The Mid-Autumn Festival

The Mid-Autumn Festival

Besides the Spring Festival, the Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the biggest holidays in China. It’s a traditional holiday that annually falls on August 15th of the Lunar calendar which corresponds to September 24th of the Gregorian calendar. The Mid-Autumn Festival is also known as the Mooncake Festival as mooncakes are a delicacy enjoyed by family and friends during this time.

Traditional Customs Of The Mid Autumn Festival

There are two major customs during this holiday: praying to and admiring the moon. While it sounds odd, the moon is one of the biggest hallmarks of the holiday as it represents unity and reunion.

Traditionally, the Chinese associated rejuvenation with the moon and water. They connected this concept to the menstruation of women. For example, the Zhuang people, have an ancient fable of the sun and moon being a couple, the stars being their children. When the moon is pregnant, it becomes round and becomes crescent after giving birth.

These traditional beliefs made it popular among women to give offerings and pray to the moon on the evening of the Mid Autumn Festival. Additionally, they will take mooncakes and pray for family harmony as the delicacy also represents unity.

Will You Be Celebrating?

The holiday began during the Tang Dynasty and gained popularity throughout the Song Dynasty, Ming Dynasty, and the Qing Dynasty. Currently, the countries who celebrate this holiday are China, Korea, Vietnam, Japan, Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia.

In Korea, the Mid Autumn Festival is called “Chu-sok” and a time to eat rice cakes. In contrast, Japan celebrates by eating rice dumplings that are also called “tsukimi dango”.  While in Vietnam, eating lots of sweets is widely accepted on this day.

How does your country celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival? If not, what specific holidays does your country celebrate?