Chinese Flag at Half MastToday marks the one week anniversary of the Sichuan Wenchuan earthquake, and will officially begin a State-decreed three-day mourning period (May 19 – May 21).

In line with this, today at 2:28pm (China Central Time, the time the quake struck seven days ago), China will observe a 3 minute moment of silence.

Whether you are in China or not, we hope all our readers will take part in this small gesture to remember the victims of this unthinkable tragedy.

Original State Council Notice


The (rough) Lost Laowai translation:
The State Council has decided that May 19-20, 2008, will be a national mourning period where all people can show their deep condolences for the victims of the Sichuan Wenchuan earthquake. At this time, all national and foreign institutions shall lower their flags to half-mast, and stop public recreational activities. The Foreign Ministry and China’s embassies and consulates have set up a condolence book for signing.

At 14:28 on May 19, people across the country should observe silence for three minutes, upon completion of which cars, trains, ship whistles, and air defense alarms will ring.


  1. “upon completion of which” isn’t quite right … should be “at which time”. I’m sure you noticed that the “moment of silence” was anything but.

  2. Ah, if you were only a few hours earlier. 🙂 You’re right though, it was sort of a bizarre way to have a moment of “silence” – air raid sirens and all. IMHO the moment of silence should have been cued with an air raid siren, upon it stopping – 3 minutes of silence. Hard to think, never mind consider the gravity of the tragedy when images of Japanese bombers are swimming through your head.

  3. Fascinating. Turns out this period of mourning was because bombs were going off and they had to get security in order; consider the timing and the fact that mourning never lasts more than a day. Very freaky.

Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Return to Top ▲Return to Top ▲