Some anniversaries are very important in Chinese culture.
Confucius (551-479 B.C.) taught that 60 years of age signified maturity and the 60th anniversary was very important and auspicious.
Though so intimately linked with Chinese culture for almost 2500 years any hint of Confucian thought was an anathema during the tumultuous communist era and especially during the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976). But now it’s slowly creeping back in.
- Confucius’s birthday was celebrated in his birthplace, Kufu, China. This year Confucius's official genealogy will be published in China. Unsurprisingly the family tree is rather colourful with two million members.
This year 2009, The People’s Republic of China, the most populous country in the world, where more cars are sold than in the USA, will celebrate the 60th birthday. Vice-President Xi Jinping, next in line to the throne of President Hu Jintao has been appointed chief organiser of the celebrations. But, unlike the flamboyant affair the 2008 Beijing Olympic was, the 60th anniversary of communist rule might be celebrated frugally (whatever that means) due to the current financial crisis.
Significant Anniversaries in China
- It’s 30 years since Deng Xiaoping initiated the era of economic, social and political reforms by proclaiming “Engels never flew on an aeroplane; Stalin never wore Dacron.”
- 30 years ago in 1978-79 Chinese citizens pasted the 200-metre long brick wall in front of the bus depot of Tiananmen Square in Beijing with pleas for freedom and democracy. After four months, Deng Xiaoping had enough and had the “Democracy Wall” shut down.
- 20 years ago the world was treated to the picture of a single man, defying tanks on Tiananmen Square in Beijing as China’s leaders crushed the protests, which may have killed thousands. Their justification was that not crushing the protest movement might have created a civil war like the The Taiping Rebellion, 1851-64 killing 20-30 million people. The Guiness Book of Records calls this the bloodiest civil war in history.
- 20 years ago China officially approved of Thailand as a group tourist destination for citizens. Currently there are 134 such approved destinations, including USA, visited by 41 million Chinese citizens last year.
- 20 years ago the fully government owned Shanghai TV aired the first 90-second commercial in China for Shenguiyangrong ginseng liquor
- 19 years ago China introduced something hated by many people in capitalist economies, Income Tax. Private persons had to pay income tax if they earned more than 800 yuans per month when the average income was 60 Yuans.
- 10 years ago the People's Bank of China started offering individual mortgage loans.
- 3 years ago China started establishing trade unions (controlled by the communist party) and party cells in large private firms. Even Wall-Mart has understood that resistance is futile.
- 6 years left till China lands a robot probe on the Moon to bring home soil samples.
- 8 years to go before China sends Chinese Taikonauts to the Moon.