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International Women's Day in China

Every year, China celebrates International Women's Day on March 8. Slightly different from the day's original focus of celebrating women's economic, political, and social achievements, Women's Day became simply an occasion for men to express their love for women in manner similar to a combination of Valentine's Day and Mother's Day (yes, many Chinese in cities celebrate these two holidays, which have been introduced from Western countries.).

Many Chinese people enjoy the day very much. On this day, many Chinese men buy presents for their mothers, wives, and even daughters. Female employees: get a half-day holiday and they like to shop, enjoy other festivities, such as a dinner party, a spa treatment, or a jaunt. 

Women's Day has become one more marketing gimmick for companies to hold great sales for women's products. For these companies, Women's Day has no more significance than Valentine's Day, and it is just a business opportunity. 

Women's Day? or Girls' Day?

Women's Day

Many Chinese universities have an interesting practice on Women's Day. Female college students created a new festival called Girls' Day (女生节 /nyoo-shnng jyeh/), which is celebrated on March 7 every year.

In China, "women" (妇女 /foo-nyoo/) is more representative of married women, and since female students do not like to give up the opportunity to be "queens", they created Girls' Day. On Girl's Day, universities hold many activities for their female students, such as a make-up competition, a hand-make competition, the warmest quail-roost evaluation, and a dancing competition.

What's more, some universities may make wishing trees or wishing boards, where female students can attach cards that have their written wishes (even professions to a male). In that way, March 7 is a sort of "Valentine's Day" on campus because male students have the opportunity to express their love to female students they admire.

Language Tips

  • 妇女节 (Women's Day): fù-nǚ jié or /foo-nyoo jyeh/
  • 妇女节快乐 (Happy Women's Day): fù-nǚ-jié kuài-lè or /foo-nyoo-jyeh kwhy-ler/
  • Because Women's Day falls on March 8, some Chinese people call this day Sanba Jie (三八节 /san-ba jyeh/) for short. However, DO NOT only say sanba (三八 /san-ba/) to a women because sanba is a insulting word in Chinese culture, especially for women.

See China Highlights' China Festival Tours and join one of them, or contact us and let us help you design your own China festival tour.

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