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China - public holidays 2017 and 2018

The traditional calendar of public holidays in China used to be very complex and included over 20 festive occasions. Given the fact that many of the Chinese festivities last for 3 days (or longer), the country’s communist government reduced the number of official, nation-wide public holidays to seven.

In the table further below you will find information about the public holiday in mainland China for 2017 and 2018.

Please note that most of the Chinese holidays depend on the lunar calendar. An official information about the holiday observance is issued by the General Office of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, prior to the year in question.

Some of the public holidays in China are unusually long, compared to the Western standards. Such is the case of the Chinese New Year and the National Holiday, both lasting for three days. Frequently the government declares the three-day holidays, week-long holidays, ‘swapping’ however two work days with the weekend afterwards. This means that after the citizens work during the weekend after the holiday. The week-long holidays are referred to as ‘Golden Weeks’. Currently there are two Golden Week holidays: the Chinese New Year and the National Holiday.




1 January (Sunday)

New Year

1 January (Monday)

28 January (Saturday), days off: from 27 January to 2 February

Spring Festival / Chinese New Year

16 February (Friday), days off: 15 to 21 February

4 April (Tuesday), days off: 2 to 4 April

Tomb-Sweeping Day / Qingming

5 April (Thursday), days off: 5 to 7 April

1 May (Monday)

May Day / Labour Day

1 May (Tuesday)

30 May (Tuesday), days off: 28 to 30 May

Dragon Boat Festival

18 June (Monday), days off: 16 to 18 June

4 October (Wednesday), falls within the National Holiday / Golden Week

Mid-Autumn Festival

24 September (Monday), days off 22 to 24 September

1 October (Sunday), days off: 1 to 7 October

National Day

1 October (Monday), days off: 1 to 7 October

Chinese New Year – the best of Chinese folklore and traditions
For visitors from abroad, the Chinese New Year is probably one of the most interesting times to visit China, although it may prove to be also a challenging one. Rooted deeply in the ancient Chinese tradition, the new year according to the Chinese lunisolar calendar is celebrated by practically the whole country.

Although most private businesses don’t close (on the contrary, the celebrations of the New Year are a huge boost to the economy), travellers should expect crowds literally everywhere. Since the introduction of the 7-days long holidays, the Chinese take opportunity to travel during the New Year’s celebrations, also referred to as the Spring Festival, either for family reunions, or in leisure, which means that most airports, railway stations or roads for that matter will be abnormally crowded. Also the availability of hotels during the Spring Festival is limited and the prices sky-high. When traveling to China during the New Year’s celebrations, make sure to book well in advance.

Find out a few interesting facts about the Chinese New Year:

The Chinese New Year is as much a family holiday, celebrated at home with traditional food as a public feast, with exuberant displays of folklore, parades, dances, theatre plays and fireworks.

 Apart from mainland China, the New Year is an important occasion also in Singapore, Hong Kong, Macau, Indonesia, Taiwan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Philippines as well as in any other countries with considerably-sized Chinese populations. The largest-scaled festivities of the Chinese New Year, outside of China are held in San Francisco in the USA and Sidney, Australia.

The celebrations of the Chinese New Year end with the Lantern Festival.

National Day – China Golden Week Holiday
The second Golden Week holiday currently observed in China develops around the National Day celebrated every year on the 1st of October.
This holiday was introduced in 1949 as a memorial day of the founding of the  People’s Republic of China.

 The 1 of October is marked by the military parades and political and political rallies. Private business and retail usually remain open; it is actually common for shopping malls and department stores to introduce special discounts during the National Day Golden Week, in order to attract more customers. 

China - public holidays 2017 and 2018
Article: China - public holidays 2017 and 2018
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Published: Thursday, May 11 2017
Latest revision: Thursday, May 18 2017

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