May 4th Youth Day
Date: May 4th
Chinese Youth Day comes of May 4th Movement, the well-known anti-imperialistic and patriotic movement which took place in China in 1919.
After World War I, U.K., France, U.S., Japan, Italy and some other countries held a "Peace Conference" in Paris in 1919. Chinese government of that time also sent some representatives for the conference, and demanded that the imperial countries should abandon their privilege in China, Japan should cancel the "21 Items," an unequal treaty imposed by Japan, and China take back its sovereignty over Shandong which was occupied by Germany before the War and by Japan during the War. In May 1919," Paris Conference" unfairly refused the reasonable request that China asked to abolish the unequal treat, and even decided to transfer the Germany's illegal privileges in Shandong Province to Japan. When the news passed back to China, the whole country got angry. On May 4th, about 3,000 students from various universities in Beijing congregated at Tian' anmen Square and held a student protest parade for the first time in the history. The students shouted out some patriotic slogans and presented a petition to the state president, but suppressed by the warlord government of that time. This suppression made angrier the people all over the country. A great number of students, workers and businessmen went on strike, and the students' demonstration and parade finally developed into a national-scale anti-imperialistic and patriotic movement. On June 10th, the warlord government had to compromise, and deposed Cao Rulin, Zhang Zhongxiang, and Lu Zongyu who were regarded as committing a crime of quislingism. On June 28th, Chinese representatives at Paris Conference refused to sign the "Peace Treaty." This news passed throughout the world soon and the imperialistic countries were greatly shocked. So far, the direct goals brought forward in the movement were basically achieved.
May 4th Movement is a landmark event in Chinese history. It is not only a patriotic student movement, but also a new cultural movement with the characteristic of democracy and science against feudal culture. It was due to the influence of May 4th Movement that science, democracy and the usage of modern Chinese language were greatly advocated later.
May 4th Movement has reflected the strong will of Chinese people for safeguarding national independence and striving for democracy and freedom. In order to inherit and develop the spirit of patriotism, democracy and science of the May 4th Movement, the central government (the State council) formally claimed in 1949 that May 4th would be Chinese Youth Day. In this festival, a variety of celebrations are held all over the country, such as gatherings, volunteer activities, social practices and some ceremonies for being an adult.
On Youth Day, all the youths above 14 years old in the country have a half-day holiday.