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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 17. CPC Founding Day and the Anniversary of the Return of Hong Kong. In Chinese, it’s called 建党节香港回归 (jiàndǎng jié Xiānggǎng huíguī).
July 1 is the anniversary of two significant historical moments in China: the founding of the Chinese Communist Party (CPC) or 中国共产党 (Zhōngguó gòngchǎndǎng), and the anniversary of the transfer of sovereignty or 主权 (zhǔquán) of Hong Kong. As such, it is no wonder this holiday involves so much color and excitement!
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question-
How long do the July 1st holidays last?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
In July, 1921, communist organizations from different parts of China sent representatives to Shanghai to hold the First Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, officially declaring the establishment of the CPC. Mao Zedong or 毛泽东 (Máo Zédōng) suggested setting July 1 as the anniversary of the birth of the CPC, which is typically referred to as the “Party’s Birthday."
The July 1 celebrations have grown to be an important part of China’s holiday culture. On July 1 each year, a celebratory evening party is broadcasted on TV, and documentaries, films, and TV series about the CPC are also shown to inform people about the holiday’s origins and to depict the vision for China’s future.
The United Kingdom’s historical handing over of sovereignty over Hong Kong to the People’s Republic of China on July 1st, 1997 is commonly known as the “Ninety Seven Return,” but is also referred to as the “transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong.” Mainland China refers to this as the day that ‘Hong Kong was returned to its motherland.’ In commemoration of this, Victoria Harbour annually holds fireworks and various activities on this day as a part of the celebrations.
一国两制 (yìguóliǎngzhì) is a phrase you’ll often find on the TV news, and means “one country, two political systems.” Hong Kong and Macau are special administrative regions where the established system can be retained under a high degree of autonomy for a certain period of time. This principle was originally proposed by China’s former leader Deng Xiaoping or 邓小平 (Dèng Xiǎopíng) for the unification of China.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
How long do the July 1st holidays last?
Despite its great significance in China, July 1 is not designated a public holiday, so workers and students do not get the day off. Even CPC members need to attend meetings on July 1 and report their ideological work.
What did you think of this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
Are there any similar holidays observed in your country? Please leave a comment telling us at ChineseClass101.com, and I'll see you in our next lesson. Bye!