Army Day in China

Army Day is a holiday observed annually on the 1st of August in the People’s Republic of China. This professional military holiday is observed by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and commemorates the PLA’s founding during the Nanchang Uprising of 1927.

This holiday is not a public holiday in China, so businesses have normal operating hours on this day. However, it is a significant day for the military and is observed with various military functions such as PLA Honour Guard marches and a performance by the PLA Central Military Band. It is a day celebrated with a number of other ceremonial events as well.

The History of Army Day in China

The Nanchang Uprising was the first engagement in the Chinese Civil War by the Communist Party of China (CCP). It was started by Chinese Communists to counter the 1927 Shanghai Massacre by the Chinese Nationalist Party. On June 30th, 1933, the CCP’s Central Committee for Military Revolutionary Cases voted to make August 1st an annual holiday.

Observing Army Day in China

Even though there is usually a PLA Honour Guard that marches on Tiananmen Square and then participates in a traditional flag-raising ceremony, military parades are not usually held on this day. However, there are certain occasions when a parade is held.

For example, on the 77th anniversary of the PLA’s founding, there was a military parade to commemorate the event. There have also been military parades at other points in history, but they are not typically held on a year-to-year basis as a general rule.

Because this is not a public holiday, it is not a day off for the general public, and most businesses in China remain open on this day. Soldiers do have a shortened work schedule on this day, however.

There is also usually an annual meeting held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing that is held by the General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party. Celebrations of this holiday outside of China are limited, except at Chinese embassies in foreign countries.

Where is it celebrated?
China (Observance)
When is it?
This year (2024)
August 1 Thursday
Next year (2025)
August 1 Friday
Last year (2023)
August 1 Tuesday