China’s National Day and Golden Week

China’s National Day is celebrated every year on 1 October to commemorate the formation of the People’s Republic of China. It marks the beginning of National Day Golden Week and is celebrated throughout mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau.

Photograph of a pagoda near Shanghai, circa 1880-2, from the collection MB2/A20

Photograph of a pagoda near Shanghai, circa 1880-2, from the collection MB2/A20

A number of collections held by the University of Southampton contain records focusing on the relationship between Britain and China in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Selections of these materials were displayed in the exhibition Britain and the Far East, 1800-1950 in 2006. These included materials from the Palmerston and Wellington papers focusing on trade and colonial aspiration in the 18th century, as well as materials from the Mountbatten Papers focusing on the British relationship with the Chinese Kuomintang forces in the South-East Asian Theatre during the Second World War.

The Special Collections Division is also home to the collection MS 13 which contains four manuscript translations of Chinese poems by the renowned English sinologist Arthur Waley (1889-1966). Waley achieved much acclaim for his influential translations of Chinese and Japanese literary classics into English. Among his Chinese translations are A Hundred and Seventy Chinese Poems (1918); the Analects of Confucius (1938); The Way and its Power: A Study of the Tao Te Ching and its Place in Chinese Thought (1934), a commentary on the Tao Te Ching including a full translation; and Monkey (1942), an abridged translation of Wu Cheng’en’s Journey to the West.

Extract from a translation of Ta'o Ch'ien’s ‘Shady, Shady’ by Arthur Waley from the collection MS 13

Extract from a translation of Ta’o Ch’ien’s ‘Shady, Shady’ by Arthur Waley from the collection MS 13

The poems in the manuscript collection are “Drinking wine number 9”, “Shady, shady, the wood in front of the hall” and “A long time ago I went on a journey” by Ta’o Ch’ien, and “The pedlar of spells” by Lu Yu. They appear in a revised form in Arthur Waley Chinese poems (London, 1946, reprinted 1948) and Arthur Waley Translations from the Chinese (New York, 1919 and 1941).

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