Monday, September 2, 2013

Labor Day in China

Today, the first Monday in September, is Labor Day in the United States.  We celebrate it by relaxing or traveling.  When I was growing up, the day after Labor Day was the first day of school.  Now, most children are in school for at least a week before Labor Day. In many parts of the world, Labor Day is celebrated on the first of May.  I was lucky enough to be in Beijing, China, for the Labor Day Holiday. 


Tienanmen Square, Beijing.
I expected to see big parades in Beijing, but I was told that those are held on the National Holiday in October.  For Labor Day, the Chinese travel.  It seemed that most of them decided to visit Beijing. Tienanmen Square was decorated with flags and flowers.  There were huge plantings of colorful flowers, all in pots, which could be removed after the holiday.  There was a jumbotron screen in the square, which had a lot of pictures of the Olympics and a huge portrait of Sun Yat-Sen, the founder of modern China.  

The Forbidden City
The only sign of a holiday in The Forbidden City was  the huge crowd of people.  The former palace of the Emperors was wall to wall people. 

The Great Wall of China
On the way to the Great Wall, we saw a long, and I mean long line of people waiting for a bus that would take them to see the Great Wall.  The area we visited, Badaling, was also very crowded.  We met a nice family, who wanted us to take their picture, which we did.

The Summer Palace
This palace of the Emperors is very beautiful, but it was so crowded that we really didn't appreciate what there was to see there.  We did get to ride in a Dragon Boat.

The Temple of Heaven
The Temple of Heaven was also crowded, but since it was early in the day, it didn't seem too bad.  The park next to the Temple of Heaven was  crowded with people enjoying themselves.

My conclusion--the Chinese observances of Labor Day are very similar to American ones.