I’m planning to have my students correspond with students in China, and one of the students from China recently wrote me this email:
“We are having the 7days holidays from October1st to October7th. So I have plenty of time to get all the email replied!”
I wrote back, wondering why there is a seven-day holiday break in early October.
The student replied:
“Oh, it is for our National Day in China. We have 5 days off for the holiday. But they want us to share a longer vacation, so they switch the Sat and Sun for a holiday too. So 1week before(or after) the National holidays, we have to go to school on Sat and Sun, then, we could take a 7days holiday off.”
This got me curious, so I looked up “National Day China” and found that:
The National Day of the People’s Republic of China (simplified Chinese: 国庆节; traditional Chinese: 國慶節; pinyin: guóqìng jié) is celebrated every year on October 1. It is a public holiday in the People’s Republic of China to celebrate its national day.
The PRC was founded on October 1, 1949 with a ceremony at Tiananmen Square. The Central People’s Government passed the Resolution on the National Day of the People’s Republic of China on December 2, 1949 and declared that October 1 is the National Day.
In the next paragraphs of the Wikipedia article, it explained that:
The National Day is celebrated throughout mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau with a variety of government-organised festivities, including fireworks and concerts. 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 University of Southern California U.S.-China Institute published a review of national day celebrations between 1949 and 1999 and discussed preparations for the 2009 extravaganza. US-China Today summarized press coverage and included images of the 2009 celebration.
I was interested to learn that USC has a US-China Institute (how many US universities have such an institute, I wonder? How many Japanese universities have such an institute?), and I was intrigued by a study of 50 years of National Days (a term I’d not heard of before receiving an email from a student in China).
I decided to use Wikipedia to lead me to more sources (you did know you can do that, right? I mean, you would never, as an insatiably curious history student, just STOP with information from Wikipedia, would you?), so I clicked on the link to the USC study,
and it took me to the references section of the Wikipedia article:
When I clicked on #5 above, it took me to the USC Study.
This is how to use Wikipedia to get to quality sources, such as a study from USC’s China Institute. It’s amazing how many quality resources you can find by using Wikipedia.