Want to travel to China but don’t know what the best time is? Want to join in the big festivals and grand events in China but be afraid of the crowds? Before going to China let’s firstly get to know some Chinese customs and culture – the Public holidays in China.
Weather aside and try to avoid traveling during any of China’s national holidays if at all possible. In the 1990s the Chinese government introduced the “Golden Weeks” to develop domestic tourism industry. The three Chinese national “Golden Weeks” are:
Chinese Spring Festival (The Lunar New Year)
The exact dates each year varies since it’s based on the Lunar Calendar, but it’s usually around late January to mid-Feb.
Just like Christmas in the west, the Spring Festival is the most important festival for the Chinese People. All people living away from home will go back, it is becoming the busiest time for transportation systems of about half a month from the Spring Festivals. Airports, railway stations and long-distance bus stations are crowded with home returners. If you don’t mind the crowds, it can be lots of fun (festivals, street activity, etc.).
National Day (Oct.1)
October first is the Chinese National Day. In fact, it is a week-long holiday from Oct. 1 to Oct. 7 to celebrate founding of People’s Republic of China.
During this period, all the places of interest in China are literally gobbled up by a sea of tourists who take advantage of the National Holidays to travel around in the country. Thus, it’s not so convenient for foreign travelers to travel during this period. Tickets and hotels should be booked in advance.
Labor Day (May 1)
Labor Day, also called May Day, is also a national holiday for workers in many countries around the world. And different countries have their own way to celebrate. In China, people will gather with familiar members and friends, travel together, or just relax in the holidays.
Until 2007, this was a week-long holiday but has since been scaled back to a long 3-day weekend.
Other Public Holidays in 2013:
- New Year: Dec. 30, 2012 – Jan.1, 2013 (check what you can involve in Chinese local family activities during the New Year)
- The Qingming Festival: April 4 – 6, 2013
- The Dragon Boat Festival: June 6 – 12, 2013 (check the special activities on Yangtze River Cruise)
- Mid-autumn Festival: Spet. 19 – 21, 2013 (check the special activities on Yangtze River Cruise)