The phrase “National Day”, which originally referred to the matter of national festival, can be traced back to the west Jin at the earliest stage. Lu Ji, a writer in the Western Jin Dynasty, once recorded in his article on the fifth class princes that “the National Day is only for its benefits, and the main worry is not its harm”. The major events of China’s feudal era and national celebration are greater than the accession to the throne and birthday of the emperor. Therefore, in ancient China, the emperor’s accession to the throne and birthday were called “National Day”. Today, the anniversary of the founding of the country is called National Day.
On December 2, 1949, the fourth meeting of the Committee of the Central People’s government accepted the proposal of the CPPCC National Committee and adopted the resolution on the national day of the people’s Republic of China, which decided that October 1 of each year was the great day for the founding of the people’s Republic of China and the national day of the people’s Republic of China.
Since the foundation of PRC on 0ctober 1st 1949, the forms of celebration of National Day have been changed with time.
In the early days of the founding of new China (1950-1959), large-scale celebrations and military parades were held every year on the national day. In September 1960, the CPC Central Committee and the State Council decided to reform the National Day system in line with the policy of building a country through diligence and thrift. Since then, from 1960 to 1970, grand gatherings and mass demonstrations were held in front of Tiananmen Square every national day, but no military parade was held.
From 1971 to 1983, on October 1 every year, Beijing celebrated the National Day in other forms such as large-scale garden parties without mass demonstrations. In 1984, on the 35th anniversary of the national day, a Grand National Day military parade and mass celebrations were held. In the following ten years, other forms were used to celebrate the national day, and no National Day military parade and mass celebration parade were held. On October 1, 1999, the 50th anniversary of the national day, a Grand National Day military parade and mass celebrations were held. This is the last Grand National Day celebration held by the people’s Republic of China in the 20th century.
Since the founding of new China, 15 military parades have been held at the National Day celebration. They were 11 times from 1949 to 1959 and four times from the 35th anniversary of the National Day in 1984, the 50th anniversary of the National Day in 1999, the 60th anniversary of the National Day in 2009 and the 70th anniversary of the National Day in 2019.