Chinese National Day – Golden Week and Baby Pandas
Grant Brown – Fall 2013 GlobaLinks Learning Abroad Correspondent
By Grant Brown – Grant is a GlobaLinks Learning Abroad 2013 Fall Correspondent who is studying abroad at Sichuan University, China. He is from DePauw University.
Greetings from Chengdu! I have the pleasure to write to you all following the Chinese National Day 国庆节. This holiday is celebrated in China every year on October 1st to celebrate the founding of the Peoples Republic of China (PRC). The PRC was founded on October 1st, 1949 with a ceremony in Tiananmen Square. The National Day marks the beginning of one of the two Golden Weeks in China (essentially a week long vacation). Many residents of China take time during this week to travel throughout the country to various tourist locations in order to experience a fun and relaxing holiday. However, a week long vacation in a country with over 1 billion residents poses a variety of challenges to “fun and relaxation”. Some of these problems such as extreme traffic jams, resort overcrowding, and general chaos are not uncommon during a Golden Week. On October 1st, the high-speed railway stations between Beijing and Tianjin had over 800,000 visitors. On October 2nd, The Forbidden City in Beijing had over 170,000 visitors. After seeing some of these numbers, you won’t be surprised to hear that I, in fact, did not travel this week! Instead of traveling throughout China, I avoided the chaotic transportation scene by attending a musical festival here in Chengdu. At this festival, which was called ‘Cookin’ Chengdu’, I was able to see traditional Chinese rock bands as well as various DJ’s from China and other parts of the world.
All girl Chinese Rock Band at Cookin’ Chengdu Music Festival
I had an amazing time experiencing a different musical culture than my own, in a setting filled with Chengdu natives and foreigners alike. In addition to the great live music, there were various local food shops at the festival, hence, ‘Cookin’ Chengdu’! Although I spent the holiday in Chengdu, I was not spared the effects of the influx of tourists and travelers to this city. On the Friday during Golden Week, a few other Sichuan University students and I went to visit the Panda Breeding Base. When we arrived at the Breeding Base, we were greeted with ticket lines extending all the way down the road. It was madness!
Waiting in Line to buy tickets at the Panda Breeding Base
However, it was all worth it after we were able to see the newly born Pandas, and even a few baby Red Pandas! You can check out the pandas for yourself at http://en.ipanda.com/live!
Two newly born Pandas!
I had a fantastic time during the Golden Week, and I’m very thankful that I didn’t get stuck in another city due to traffic jams or even delays from Typhoon Fitow. But now it’s back to school, talk to you all soon!