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History of Teacher's Day in China

The hard work that teachers do to educate and shape the futures of countries is indisputable. They should be respected and remembered always and they deserve to have their own unique festival. In China, the teachers had to wait for decades to earn their own festival with their own efforts.

Teachersí Day is one of the three occupational festivals which is celebrated on September 10th every year in China. The idea of celebrating Teachersí Day was first brought up in 1931 and changed four times since then.

In 1931, the well-known educators Tai Shuangqiu and Cheng Qibao discussed and determined June 6th as Teachersí Day with other educators. They explained their three goals by presenting the ĎManifesto on Teachersí Dayí which were to improve the living conditions of teachers, to provide protection and promoting teachersí training. Even though the Teachersí Day was not recognized by the Kuomintang government, the idea resonated with people throughout the country.The reason for the rejection of Teachersí Day by Kuomintang is because it was decided and set by some educators themselves. In 1939, the Kuomintang government decided to celebrate Teachersí Day on August 27th, the birthday of Chinese educator Confucius. Unfortunately, this idea was not captured throughout the country.

In 1951, the Minister of Education decided to celebrate Teachersí Day on May 1st, International Labor Day due to recognizing the teachers as part of the working class. However, since the teachers didnít have their own celebration activities, this idea didnít appeal to teachers.

In December 1984 the President of Beijing Normal University once again came up with the idea of teachers having their own celebration day and shared this idea with the Beijing Newspaper.When this idea was published in the newspaper, it was met with widespread reader approval and led several professors from the university to formally propose that Teachersí Day should be set. On January 1985, the resolution was made by the National Peopleís Congress and September 10th was set as Teachersí Day in order to develop the tradition of respecting teachers, improve their status and draw attention to education. Every year since the first Teachersí Day on September 10th, teachers have celebrated their own unique festival.

Reference : Chinese Festivals by Wei Liming

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