This week in both our homes, all residential children are preparing for a long break from school, and our vocational students, especially in Fuzhou, are all preparing to come home for a week of relaxation and fun. Some of our older children, like Ben from Fuzhou, only returns home for the National Day celebrations, and thus our staff and younger children are all excited to see him!
National Day, October 1, is one of the largest holidays in modern China. National Day represents the open of one of two golden weeks in China, and thus begins a week-long vacation from school and government work. Like most countries, China’s National Day is a celebration of the founding of the country – in this case the founding of the People’s Republic of China on October 1, 1949 in Tiananmen Square.
Throughout the country, the government organizes many large festivals, one of the largest being a famed parade and fireworks display outside the Forbidden City in Tiananmen Square. There are many annual television events as well, concerts and speeches tuned in to by millions around the country. The fireworks display is one thing no child wants to miss! Though there will be a small one in Fuzhou, and another near Fangshan, much like watching the Macy’s Parade in the US, this National Day parade and fireworks are usually enjoyed through the television.
In our Fuzhou home, we are preparing for most of our children to return home. Except for Vicky, Justin, and May, all of our residential children will be on-site for at least a couple days, especially for the large feast being prepared for us all to enjoy together. Thanks to generous help from specific donors, we’ll also be holding some small activities for our younger children, and each family unit is planning some type of outing during the time off from school.
Of course, like all school vacations in China, the children all have plenty of homework – in fact the elementary schoolers have a special booklet of homework that must be completed within National Week. This might dull the excitement a little, but the children are hoping to get through them quickly – Peter has already expressed that he hopes to have his done before vacation even really begins.
While it is a modern holiday, and does not have the deeper meaning of the traditional Chinese holidays, National Day is certainly a huge event that we’re looking forward to enjoying in Fangshan and Fuzhou. Following our celebrations, next week we’ll be sure to update you all with some pictures and stories about what we all did!