Learn New Words FAST with this Lesson’s Vocab Review List

Get this lesson’s key vocab, their translations and pronunciations. Sign up for your Free Lifetime Account Now and get 7 Days of Premium Access including this feature.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

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 15. International Women's Day. In Chinese, it’s called 国际妇女节 (guójì fùnǚ jié).
This day is a celebration of women's economic, political, and social achievements.
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question-
What are the benefits that women enjoy on Women’s Day in China?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
International Women’s Day was first started in the United States. In 1911, more than 140 women working at a textile factory in New York initiated a protest against the unequal rights of female workers, and unfortunately died in a fire at the factory thereafter. To commemorate this protest and protect women’s rights or 女性权利 (nǚxìng quánlì), the United Nations established March 8 as International Women’s Day. China began observing this day in 1949, providing women a half-day off of work every 8th of March.
As you may know, China is made up of many different ethnic groups, which each celebrate Women’s Day in their own way. For example, the Hani people in Yunnan celebrate Women’s Day with the Goddess Festival or 姑娘节 (gū niang jié) on the fourth of the second lunar month. In this festival, men and women dress up in costumes and hold a grand ceremony to worship the goddess. Then, family members sit together to enjoy a picnic. Besides this, young men and women walk around the mountain, dancing, singing, and making friends.
To commemorate a girl named Youma who committed suicide by jumping off a cliff in protest against a marriage arranged by her parents, the Hani people in Yunnan celebrate Girl's Day or 女儿节 (nǚér jié) to show respect for women. For the Tibetans in Gansu, Girl’s Day involves young girls accompanied by their brothers dressing up in colorful costumes and preparing delicious foods. Later on in the day, these girls pick flowers on the mountain and sing to each other. In the evening, young girls and boys toast each other with blessings of happiness.
This day is also called the Three Eight Women’s Day, but Three Eight, or 三八 (sānbā) is a pejorative and offensive term that describes women as stupid and as people who like to gossip. Never refer to anyone using this term!
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
What are the benefits that women enjoy on Women’s Day in China?
On top of providing them a half-day holiday, many companies--particularly state-owned companies--give female employees various gifts, such as a bathroom set, beauty kits, portable travel bags, and so on. Some also organize activities like get-togethers for female employees.
What did you think of this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
How does your country celebrate Women's Day? Please leave a comment telling us at ChineseClass101.com, and I'll see you in our next lesson. Bye!