Public holidays practised in China significantly match festive periods. Therefore, Chinese public holidays are the days when shops, restaurants and entertainment centres are open.

When planning a business trip to China, dates that do not coincide with the public holiday calendar should be selected, especially if visits to production facilities and factories are planned, and if transactions that require public services are to be made.

Public service departments, such as government offices, embassies and schools, are closed during public holidays. Factories and production facilities do not work. Banks only keep their central branches open.

Many holidays such as the Chinese New Year, Lantern Festival, Mid-Autumn Festival etc. are based on the Chinese Lunar Calendar, and therefore the dates change each year. The government does not usually issue the full list of Chinese holidays until December of the current year.

The Chinese National Annual Leave and Remembrance Days regulation determine the dates and length of time national holidays will be celebrated in that year. The duration of the holidays has been changed many times over the years. Therefore, it is recommended to make business and touristic travel programs to China according to the current calendar information.

Chinese Public Holidays in 2021

China has seven national holidays every year as listed below,

1. January 1st, 2021: International New Year (3 days off)

2. February 12th-17th 2021: Chinese New Year (Spring Festival)

3. April 5th 2021: Tomb Sweeping Day (Qing Ming Jie)

4. May 1st 2021: Labor Day

5. June 14th 2021: Dragon Boat Festival

6. September 20th & 21st 2021: Mid Autumn Festival

7. October 1st-7th 2021: National Holiday 

China State Council also provides public holidays for specific social groups

  • Mar 8: Women’s Day is observed for half day holiday for women only
  • May 4: Youth Day is observed for half day holiday age between 14-28
  • Jun 1: Children’s Day is observed for a holiday for child under age 14
  • Aug 1: Army Day is a half day holiday for military personnel

1 – International New Year January 1st to 3th

New Year’s Day is celebrated on the night connecting December 31 to January 1 in countries using the Gregorian calendar. China celebrates first day of January as a “New Year” as a public holiday as the rest of the world. So, the celebrations begin on New Year’s Eve and continue till 1 January. The holiday period is three days covering 1-3 January.

2 – Chinese New Year (Spring Festival): February 12th to 17th

Chinese New Year festival (spring festival) period changes each year, according to the Chinese Lunar Calendar. (The lunar calendar is associated with the movement of the moon) Anyway it will always fall between 21 January & 20 February. Usually Chinese New Year festival period lasts for 16 days, starting from Chinese New Year’s eve to the Lantern Festival. In 2021, it is between 11-26 February.

The public holiday lasts from February 11 to 17th, during which the New Year’s Eve on February 11 and the New Year’s Day on February 12 are the peak time of celebration. The standard public holiday for Chinese is the seven days from Chinese New Year’s Eve to day 6 of the lunar calendar new year.

The commonly known New Year calendar counts from the New Year’s Eve to the Lantern Festival on February 26 2021.

There is also a preliminary preparation phase for the 14-day New Year celebrations, including the public holiday and the next week. Traditionally Chinese Lunar New Year activities start a few weeks earlier.

3 – The Qingming Festival (Tomb Sweeping Day): April 4th or 5th

20213 Apr to 5 AprSat to MonQing Ming Festival
20225 AprTueQing Ming Festival
20233 Apr to 5 AprMon to WedQing Ming Festival
20244 Apr to 5 AprThu to FriQing Ming Festival

The Qingming Festival is also called Tomb-Sweeping Day. It’s an ancestors day with the starting to reborn the nature with spring. Its one of China’s largest events based off of the lunar calendar. The festival generaly begins on 4th or 5th of April. It coincides with the first day of the fifth solar period of the traditional Chinese lunar-solar calendar.

4 – Labour Day: May 1th to 5th

International Worker’s Day, is a public holiday that celebrates workers of the country. 1th of May is known as Labor Day and is celebrated simultaneously in all countries. Labor Day in China, unlike many countries, is not celebrated for one day, but with a 5-day holiday that covers the period from May 1-5.

5 – Dragon Boat Festival: June 14th

The Dragon Boat Festival is celebrated with a three-day break from work in order to be with friends and family. Its one of the crowded travel holidays in China. The festival commemorates the life and death of the famous Chinese scholar Qu Yuan. The festival is held on the fifth day of the 5th month of the Chinese calendar.

6 – Mid Autumn Festival: September 19th to 21st

Mid-Autumn Festival, or Mid-autumn Day, is the second grandest festival in China after the Chinese New Year. The Lunar Festival is a popular Lunar calendar harvest festival introduced by the Chinese and Vietnamese. The Mid-Autumn Festival in China is a celebration that begins on the 15th day of the 8th month on the Chinese lunar calendar.

7 – National Holiday: October 1st-7th

It is celebrated annually on October 1 as the National Day of the People’s Republic of China in memory of the official establishment of the People’s Republic of China on October 1, 1949. The legal holiday for Chinese National Day is 3 days in mainland China, 2 days in Macau and 1 day in Hong Kong. Deferred days are added to complete 7 days in total.

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