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China Holidays & Festivals

Winter Solstice
The Winter Solstice of 2017 falls on December  22.

China has seven legal holidays in a year, including New Year's Day, Chinese New Year (Spring Festival), Qingming Festival, May Day, Dragon Boat Festival, Mid-Autumn Day and National Day.

The table below provides a detailed list of 2018 / 2019 public holidays in China. Hope it can help you make a good tour plan.

 

2018/ 2019 China Public Holiday Calendar

Holiday Name 2018 Date 2018 Holiday 2019 Date 2019 Holiday
New Year's Day Jan. 1 Dec. 30 2017 - Jan. 1 2018 Jan. 1 Dec. 30 2018 - Jan. 1 2019
Chinese New Year Feb. 16 Feb. 15 - 21 Feb. 5 Feb. 4 - 10
Qingming Festival Apr. 5 Apr. 5 - 7 Apr. 5 Apr. 5 - 7
May Day May 1 Apr. 29 - May 1 May 1 May 1
Dragon Boat Festival Jun. 18 Jun. 16 - 18 Jun. 7 Jun. 7 - 9
Mid-Autumn Day Sep. 24 Sep. 22 - 24 Sep. 13 Sep. 13 - 15
National Day Oct. 1 Oct. 1 - 7 Oct. 1 Oct. 1 - 7

In addition to the above seven festivals, Chinese people celebrate four others on which some people have a half day off - Women's Day, Youth Day, Children's Day and Army Day. Many other galas and anniversaries are celebrated even without days off, such as Arbor Day and Teachers' Day.

Please refer to the Detailed 2018 / 2019 / 2020 China Public Holiday Calendar
 

Most Celebrated Festivals in China

New Year's Day:Jan. 1st
Laba:8th day in 12th lunar month, usually in Jan.
1st day in 1st lunar month, usually in Jan. or Feb.
The grandest traditional festival in China, the longest public holiday;
Annual family reunion, eat dumplings, set off fireworks
15th day in 1st lunar month, usually in Feb.
Watch lanterns, eat glutinous rice dumplings, guess lantern riddles
Apr. 4th or 5th
Also known as Pure Brightness Festival or Tomb-sweeping Day;
Visit ancestors' tombs, spring outing
May Day:May 1st
5th day in 5th lunar month, usually in Jun.
To commemorate Qu Yuan (340-278 BC), an ancient Chinese patriotic poet;
Eat Zongzi, dragon boat race.
Double Seventh:7th day in 7th lunar month, usually in Aug.
China’s Valentine’s Day
15th day in 8th lunar month, usually in Sep.
Family reunion, appreciate the full moon, eat moon cakes
Oct.1st
Military parade and celebration on the Tiananmen Square in Beijing;
Nationwide traveling peak from Oct. 1st to 7th regarded as the 'Golden Week'
Chongyang:9th day in 9th lunar month, usually in Oct.
Winter Solstice:Dec. 21st, 22nd, or 23rd
 

Golden Weeks in China

Chinese New Year Holiday and National Day Holiday are the only two week-long holidays in China. During these two weeks, people enjoy themselves in a great variety of ways, contributing to a boost in tourism industry, hence the nickname 'Golden Week'. Hotel rooms, train tickets or air tickets will definitely be in great demand then. Therefore, we recommend that people who are planning China tours avoid these Golden Weeks in view of the huge crowds at the major attractions, on trains, at railway stations and airports.

See also: Spring Festival Travel Rush, Train Travel in China during Holidays
 

Does business run during Chinese public holidays?

Business actually flourishes during holidays, so there’s no need to worry about the shopping, dining, entertainment. Some shopping malls, shops, supermarkets and restaurants have promotions and discounts on festivals, and some even extend their opening time. On the Chinese New Year, the grandest occasion for family reunion of the year, some personal shops and small restaurants are closed.

The civil service departments such as the government offices, embassies and schools are closed on the legal holidays. Elementary public service establishments like the public transport system run normally to facilitate the locals and visitors on their basic living and travel; however, please note that the banks and post offices only have their major branches opened on China public holidays, so it is better to go to those branches in the prosperous business districts in big cities, or arrange your money and post matters in advance. Most of the hospitals run during holidays, but maybe only the basic departments are available, without some famous specialists.

See Business Hours in China
 

More Festivals in Different Categories

National Holidays: New Year's Day, Women's Day, May Day, Children's Day...
Traditional Festivals: Chinese New Year, Qingming, Dragon Boat, Mid-Autumn Day, Chongyang...
Ethnic Minority Festivals: Water-Splashing, March Fair, Nadam Fair, End of Ramadan, Corban...
Tourism Festivals: Harbin Ice & Snow Gala, Luoyang Peony Fair...
Western Festivals Celebrated in China: Christmas, Halloween, Valentine’s Day…
 

Further Reading

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