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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in China Series at ChineseClass101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Chinese holidays and observances. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 13. Children's Day. In Chinese, it’s called 儿童节 (értóng jié).
International Children’s Day is celebrated each year on June 1. In this lesson, we’ll take a look at how children celebrate this day in China!
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question-
When did China begin celebrating Children’s Day?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
Under Chinese law, children ages 14 and under are officially categorized as children, or 儿童 (értóng). Those who fit in this category have the privilege of taking a half-day off from school on Children’s Day. Most children in China begin attending elementary school at the age of 6.
Usually on that day, schools will organize various collective activities or 集体活动 (jítǐ huódòng). These may include things like Children’s Day performances held in the school auditorium or on the playground, or parties held in each classroom. Some schools take children on school trips to watch plays or movies, visit museums, or go to parks.
Today, the most common ways families celebrate Children’s Day in China is by giving children toys, or by taking them out to eat or out on a fun day somewhere like an amusement park.
The United Nations or 联合国 (Liánhéguó) established Children’s Day as a day to mourn all the children who lost their lives in war; to oppose the murder of children, and to protect children’s rights. June 1st was selected as Children’s Day because it is the anniversary of the Lidice tragedy of World War II, in which more than eighty children were killed by the Nazi Regime.
Many adults also like to join in on the celebration of Children’s Day to escape the burdens and pressures of modern-day life. The four-character expression 童心未泯 (tóngxīnwèi mǐn) meaning “one's childish heart remains” is an idiom used to describe adults who have kept a young spirit.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
When did China begin celebrating Children’s Day?
Children’s Day celebrations in China first began in 1932, during the rule of the People's Republic of China or 中华人民共和国 (Zhōnghuárénmíngònghéguó). Initially, Children’s Day was celebrated on a different date, April 4, and was initiated by the “Shanghai China Salesian Society." That is why Children’s Day is still celebrated in Hong Kong on April 4.
What did you think of this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
Do you still remember how you celebrated Children’s Day when you were a kid? Please leave a comment telling us at ChineseClass101.com, and I'll see you the next lesson. Bye!