Notice the red flags along the streets, flower decorations and the phrase “欢度国庆 huāndù guóqìng” at the foot of office buildings? Yes, it’s that time of the year again: Happy National Day! We call it 国庆节（Guóqìng Jié) or 十一 (shíyī, ten and one), as the date falls on October 1st. This day may mean many things: amazing fireworks, galas featuring patriotic choruses and nonstop CCTV documentaries on the history of the founding of the PRC. What’s even more exciting is the week-long vacation from Sept.30th to Oct. 7th. That’s right: we are going to celebrate the birth of the nation with a fall break.
The week-long vacation was officially established back in 2000 out of consideration for the growing “假日经济 (jiàrì jīngjì, holiday economy).” The basic idea is to boost the economy by increasing domestic consumption—giving people leisure time to spend the money they have been saving. The biggest beneficiary of the long vacation is the tourist industry. In fact, the alternative term for the National Day vacation, “Golden Week (黄金周 huángjīn zhōu)”, was first used by the tourism industry to describe their surging profits within this week (the other two Golden Weeks fall on Spring Festival and Labor Day on May 1st). This year, the Beijing Tourism Academy predicts RMB 1.8 trillion in revenues will be generated by Chinese tourism during the National Day week. And with all the enthusiastic Chinese shoppers on Boulevard Haussmann in Parris and 5th Avenue in New York, a contribution will also be made to the world’s economy.
As for the vacation plans of our staff at The World of Chinese—our Web Director Keoni will have a fabulous time in Korea with his family. Our Art Director Jessica is excited about the coming Beijing Design Week as well as the Beijing Music Festival. Our editor Alicia Zhang wants to repay her sleep debt. In her waking hours, she plans to enjoy a newly published book on Tibet. Our editor Jenny also prepares to read a book and do some cycling outside the 4th ring of Beijing (wise idea, as the capital city will be packed with tourists). And in keeping with the spirit of Golden Week, our marketing assistant Travis plans a trip with friends to Yangshuo (阳朔) in Guangxi Province. We thank him for his contribution to our national economy and hope he enjoys the natural beauty there.
Last but not least, we’d like to wish our readers in China a Happy National Day and a great vacation!