The International Labor Day on May 1st is called Lao Dong Jie (劳动节) in China. The days surrounding May 1 are heavy travel days – transportation, accommodation, and recreation outlets will be crammed with travelers for the annual Spring holiday.
Labor Day is celebrated on various days in different countries, such as the fourth Monday in October in New Zealand, the first Monday in September in Canada and in the US (where labor day originated when the 1884 convention of the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions proclaimed that “eight hours shall constitute a legal day’s labor from May 1, 1886.”), and May 23 in Jamaica. TimeAndDate.com says “May Day dates back to pagan cults that worshipped trees and other symbols of nature. Traditionally, May Day is characterized by the gathering of flowers and the fertility rite of dancing around the maypole.”
Even though Labor Day actually comes from events surrounding a worker’s strike in Chicago, there aren’t any activities in the US on May 1. Here in China, May Day is one of the year’s major holidays. Before the May Day holiday was shortened to three days, it was known as a golden week from May 1 to May 7, a holiday of shopping, travel, and hanging out. Today the vacation only lasts for about three days, but it is still popular to go out and participate in all kinds of outdoor activities.
The word “labor” translates as “lao dong” in Chinese, thus Labor Day is called Lao Dong Jie. The holiday is often referred to as “wu yi” – meaning “five one” or May 1. Happy Lao Dong Jie ! Workers of the world: recreate!
Benefits of May Day Holiday:
Shops, supermarkets, and malls offer customers a real bargain. Workers can get some extra money if they keep working on holidays, such as double or triple pay. Students can earn more by doing different kinds of part time jobs during this period. Families get together and go to parks or amusement parks, just to enjoy the beauty of quality family time. Children can stop studying for a while to have fun with their friends or siblings. One big aspect of the holiday is the promotion of consumption in the domestic market, which helps relieve some economic pressure for the nation for a little bit.
Disadvantages of May Day Holiday:
Since people prefer to go out on the May Day holiday, severe traffic jams happen everywhere. Every road is crowded with cars and people. It can take hours to complete a journey that on average days takes 30 minutes or less. Due to the heavy crush on the roads and rails, the number of traffic accidents, theft, or other form of crimes increases. Take care when traveling on May Day.
International Labour Day on Wikipedia
Shen Wenyu (沈文裕) performs in Qingdao at the Qingdao Grand Theatre on May 7, 2011. The pianist has been called “the second Mozart”. He was the youngest prize winner in the history of the Queen Elisabeth International Piano Competition at the age of 16 in 2003, received 1st prize at the Rachmaninoff International Piano Competition in Los Angeles in 2005, and was appointed Resident Pianist of the Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra in 2010. The evening’s program in Qingdao features Shen playing Chopin and Liszt, including Heroic Polonaise and Reminiscences de Don Juan. Watch a video of Shen playing piano at 16 years old.
When: May 7, 7.30 pm
Venue: Qingdao Grand Theatre / 青岛大剧院
Location: 5 Yunling Lu, Laoshan district / 云岭路5号
Tickets: 30/50/80/100 yuan (RMB)
More Info: 8066.5555
Qingdao’s Zhongshan Park has offered green respite from the urban jungle for over a century. According to the Zhongshan Park Association in China, there are 75 Zhongshan Parks in the world: 51 in mainland China, 16 in Taiwan, 2 in Hong Kong, 1 in Macao, 2 each in Hawaii and Canada and 1 in Japan.
All images by Qingdao photographer Michael Zhu.
Qingdao’s Zhongshan Park has a history of more than 110 years. I was kind of surprised when I heard this figure, as Qingdao itself was only settled in 1898. The park’s long history and deep culture makes it a special place in the city, and qualifies it as one of the best recreational options in Qingdao for both visitors and locals.
The annual Cherry Blossom (Sakura) Festival lasts for about 20 days around May Day in Zhongshan Park. The Sakura Road is lined with cherry trees. In May this long lane becomes a pink world because of the cherry blossoms. If you walk along it, you may feel like you are walking in a storybook world. In order to make the park more colorful, there are other attractive flowers like tulip, forsythia, China’s indigenous wintersweet, and more. The bunches of flowers coming out during this period make it a good destination for a spring outing.
The top three most visited gardens in Zhongshan Park are Peach Garden, Peony Garden and Osmanthus Garden. In Peach Garden, there’s no doubt that the starring role belongs to the peach trees. There will be a peach flower in Spring and the mouthwatering peach in Fall. In the Osmanthus Garden, there is a curtain of purple wisterias. Branches intersects with each other, green leaves and purple flowers smile to each other. If you listen carefully, maybe you could hear that they are performing a spring duo. In Peony Garden, many kinds of peonies gather close to one another, with various colors and shapes. In China, the peony is an elegant flower, the king of flowers. Chinese people think of the peony as the symbol of peace, happiness, prosperity and affluence. The peony is often mentioned as China’s national flower.
In 1995, the chairman of the China-Japan Friendship Association came to Zhongshan Park and planted the ”Sun-Wen Lotus” seeds by himself to celebrate 15 years’ friendship between Xiaguan and Qingdao.
Sun-Wen Lotus Pond symbolizes a friendly relationship between China and Japan. It is said that in the late Qing Dynasty, when Sun Zhongshan (孙中山) was in Japan, he was helped by a Japanese friend named Tian Zhonglong (田中隆). Sun gave Tian four lotus seeds as a gift to represent pure friendship. Tian Zhonglong asked a botanist friend to plant them and he later named their seeds “Sun-Wen Lotus”. In 1995, the chairman of the China-Japan Friendship Association came to Zhongshan Park and personally planted the ”Sun-Wen Lotus” seeds to celebrate 15 years’ of friendly city status between Xiaguan and Qingdao.
In this kid’s paradise you can hear the cheerful laughing and see the big smiles of children. Since 2009, there has been a theme park called Just High with some new games and amusement park rides, like the double layer merry-go-round and the deep sea monster. There is also a theme canteen called “Buddy Canteen” with an atmosphere of innocence and childhood.
It is located in the northwest part of Zhongshan Park, with a separate entrance on Yanan Yi Lu. There are almost 100 kinds of animals, including big pandas, little pandas, golden monkeys, lions, tigers, parrots, brown bears, and red-crowned cranes. Now you may ask, since Zhongshan Park must be a very large park with so many places (it is), what if I am in a hurry? How can I see it in a short time? Don’t worry. This problem has been solved since 1994. when two main cableways were built. One is from Zhongshan Park to Taiping Shan, the other is from Taiping Shan to the botanical garden. It only takes about 30 minutes for a round trip. You can go straight to Zhanshan Temple from Zhongshan Park.
Thierry Migliorini performs in Qingdao at the Qingdao People’s Hall on April 30, 2011. The evening’s program features Puccini’s Un bel dì vedremo (an aria previously adapted by Malcolm McLaren in 1984) from Madame Butterfly and more. The Qingdao People’s Hall is on the corner of Taiping Lu and Daxue Lu near Xiao Qingdao and Zhan Qiao. Tickets available in Room 107 of Bldg 3 in Creative 100 on Nanjing Lu just north of Jiangxi Lu. Call 8097.0303 for ticketing info.
When: April 30, 7.30 pm
Venue: Qingdao People’s Hall / 青岛人民会堂
Location: 9 Taiping Lu / 太平路9号
Tickets: 60 – 280 yuan (RMB)
Info: 8289.7211, 8097.0303
Qingdao People’s Hall
Ekaterina Pushkarenko performs in Qingdao at the Qingdao Concert Hall on May 2, 2011. The Russian classical guitar player will also deliver a lecture on guitar music on May 3 at 2 pm at the same venue across from Zhan Qiao on the corner of Zhejiang Lu and Lanshan Lu. Fields of Gold Guitar students are eligible for tickets discounts, contact Wang Laoshi on 136.8532.0970 for more info. Listen to mp3s of Ekaterina Pushkarenko.
When: May 2, 7 pm
Venue: Qingdao Concert Hall, 1 Lanshan Lu / 青岛音乐厅, 蓝山路1号
Tickets: 150 yuan (RMB); 300 for 3
Pushkarenko was a child prodigy on guitar, beginning at age 6 in 1990. The Irkutsk native’s playing has won her many awards such as the All-Russian Youth Guitarist Champion. She has appeared throughout Russia at music festivals and competitions such as the Moscow International Chamber Music Festival and the St. Petersberg Folk Music Festival. Pushkarenko is one half of a famous duo with balalaika virtuoso Andrei Subbotin and has studied with the Russian composer Kozlov.
Qingdao Concert Hall on Google Maps
This Saturday Qingdao’s first division Super League football club, Qingdao Jonoon (青岛中能) plays at home against Dalian Shide. Check out more details and stats on the China Super League (CSL) and Qingdao Jonoon here.
Who: Qingdao Jonoon vs. Dalian Shide
When: April 30, 2011 (3:30 pm Kick Off)
Venue: Tiantai Stadium
This city provides fertile subject matter for those with an interest in the visual arts, so the information that photography as an aesthetic pursuit flourishes here and that Qingdao is home to interesting and talented photographers should be of no great surprise to anyone. One such image-smith is long-time Qingdao resident New Zealander Jan Dawn, a devotee of pursuits photographic whose expertise through the lens and whose intimate knowledge of her city of residence perennially yields a rich abundance of uniquely perceptive shots.
Event: Red by Jan Dawn
When: April 30 – May 14
Venue: Jinshixian Photo, 228 Yanan San Lu
Her always thought-provoking and often arresting pictures are testament to a level of commitment to engage with subject matter that is rare indeed to find. Her latest exhibition, entitled ‘Red’, is being held at the Qingdao Jinshixian Photographic Equipment Co. gallery (青岛金视线科技器材有限公司, 青岛市延安三路228号民政大厦一楼), situated at 228 Yan An San Lu, just a few metres up the hill from the Hong Kong Rd intersection. Look for and enter below the large and obvious Canon sign on the ground level of the first building on the right, and the gallery is towards the rear of the shop within. ‘Red’ will commence on Saturday, April 30th, and will run daily for two weeks, 8.30am -6pm.
Jacky Cheung (Zhang Xue You/张学友) performs in Qingdao at the Guoxin Arena on June 5, 2011. One of the Cantopop Four Heavenly Kings, Jacky is a Hong Kong based singer and actor with a strong following in China and Japan. He sings in Mandarin and Cantonese. Jacky’s hit songs include Goodbye Kiss (Wen Bie/吻别), which in 2006 was remade into the hit song Take Me To Your Heart by Michael Learns to Rock and Yi Lu Shang You Ni (一路上有你) from the Goodbye Kiss album.
When: June 5, 7.30 pm
Venue: Qingdao Sports Center Guoxin Arena / 青岛体育中心国信体育馆
Tickets: 180-1680 yuan (RMB)
Another extremely well known melody sung by Jacky is Zhu Fu (祝福). Listen to this song and others on Baidu mp3. Using the Hong Kong spelling of his family name, Cheung (Zhang/张) has performed duets with Sarah Brightman, Reba McEntire, Sandy Lam, and Wang Fei (Faye Wong). Truly a superstar in Chinese music, Jacky Cheung is a prolific artist with multiple hit records to his name, and a frequent live performer who last visited Qingdao in 2007. Tickets range from 180 to 1680 yuan (RMB) and can be purchased online or by calling 400.610.3721.
Jacky Cheung Official Website
Qingdao bus lines 316 and 31 now feature Sunwin electric buses, adding to the city’s electric bus network, which includes some of the vehicles on routes 2 and 5 in old town. Qingdao’s Bandao (Peninsula/半岛) News reports that the first group of buses are on a trial run in preparation for a future switch to increased use of the zero emission transport. The buses were made by Sunwin, a Volvo Shanghai JV company. They are being tested for their adaptability to Qingdao’s hilly terrain and coastal climate. Low noise and reduced energy costs are two more reported benefits of the electric buses, which can go between 90 and 120 km on a full charge. The battery life is said to be about 3 years, based on an estimated 1500 recharges.
Qingdao bus lines 316 and 31 now feature electric buses, adding to the city’s electric bus network, which includes routes 2 and 5 in old town.
Sunwin eco-friendly buses were previously used at the Shanghai Expo and are wheelchair accessible, with an adjustable chassis that also moves up or down to accommodate weather conditions such as rain, thereby avoiding excess water splash into the carriage. The vehicles are touted as completely safe from danger of electrocution risk. A new commercial electric bus power station (China’s first) is in Xuejiadao (Huangdao Kaifaqu Development Zone) in further infrastructure development of the electric transport industry. Electric buses service the route linking the development zone with Qingdao city proper through the Xuejiadao-Qingdao tunnel.
When: May 6, 8 pm
Venue: Owl Bar (sHooters) / 猫头鹰酒吧
Location: Olympic Center Bar Street / 奥帆中心酒吧街
Tickets: Door 40 yuan (RMB)
More Info: 136.6886.6600
When: May 28, 8.30 pm
Venue: Owl Bar (sHooters) / 猫头鹰酒吧
Location: Olympic Center Bar Street / 奥帆中心酒吧街
Tickets: Door 40 yuan (RMB), Advance and Students 30 yuan (RMB)
More Info: 136.6886.6600