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Army Day

Army Day 2019 and 2020

In China, every 1 August is Armed Forces Day, or “Army Day” for short. The day commemorates the founding of the PLA (People’s Liberation Army) back in 1927, around 20 years before the Chinese mainland finally fell under the complete control of The People’s Republic of China. And of course, it was the PLA that brought that about.

YearDateDayHoliday
20191 AugThuArmy Day *
20201 AugSatArmy Day *

Note: Army Day is observed for half day by military personnel in active service.

The “workers’ and peasants’ army” or “red army” were early names for the PLA. It began during the Nanchang Uprising of 1927, which was the first real “battle” of the Chinese Civil War. The uprising by newly organised Communist forces was in response to the violent crackdown against Chinese Communists during the Shanghai Massacre three and a half months earlier.

Later, the red army grew and struggled against Chinese nationalist forces as well as against invading Japanese armies. The fight continued on through World War II and ended in a red army victory soon thereafter, with nationalist forces fleeing to Taiwan.

Although 1 August 1927, is the date of the founding of the PLA, it wasn’t “officially” founded until 1933 and wasn’t named People’s Liberation Army until 1946.

On Army Day, everyone still works, but armed forces members have a shortened work schedule. There are some parades held on Army Day in China, but this is not very traditional and still not very common.