October 1st marks the beginning of National Day holiday for the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The PRC was founded on October 1, 1949 where there was a huge ceremony at Tiananmen Square in Beijing.
It’s a really big holiday for the Chinese. Many people will be going home to see family and many will be coming to Shanghai for a holiday. Shanghai is decorating it’s major streets and will have a parade and several days of fireworks around town. Many expats leave town…but not Ken and I. We want to be out there partying hard with the other 13 or so million people in Shanghai.
There’s a landmark close to our house which always has many tourists but I’ve only recently discovered what it was. It located in what is called a Shikumen house* . The landmark is the spot where Mao Tse-Tung and his 12 delegates convened the first meeting of China’s Communist Party on July 23, 1921. They’ve now turned it into a museum, First Communist Congress Museum, and inside there are wax figures of Mao and his delegates depicted in a similar way to the last supper. I know, it’s like Madame Tussaud’s on opium (The wax figure thing has always creeped me out). Here’s a pic of the museum.
*Shikumen Houses are black brick style buildings with arches over the entrances. They were built in the early 1900’s by local chinese developers with a mix of Western and Chinese architecture. They typically had small gardens built on the inside, away from the noise of the streets. Many used to house several families at a time with the landlord living in another section. Some were built very shabbily and many didn’t have toilets with running water . Today, you will still find several families living in them. Some of the nicer one’s have been restored but many more have been torn down or will be soon.