Home China Introduction China's National Day Holiday — October 1–7 Golden Week 2016

China's National Day Holiday — October 1–7 Golden Week 2016


The October 1st National Day "golden week" is the biggest week for tourism in China, when people have a week off to reunite with families and take trips.

When Golden Week Is

Generally it's fixed at October 1–7 with adjacent weekend days being mandatory workdays to make up for lost time.

If the Mid-Autumn Festival holiday falls within this period, as it does in about one out of five years, the holiday period generally gets a day or two longer.

How to Travel China in Golden Week

The crowded Great Wall at BadalingCapacity crowds of 70,000/day climb the Great Wall at Badaling during Golden Week.
  • Book tourist attractions early: If you do decide to see the top sights, they'll be fully-packed/over-crowded.
  • Book hotels/flights/trains early: Accommodation and flights are significantly costlier, especially in popular places. Booking is difficult, but we can help and even find discounts.
  • Transportation: very crowded in popular areas

The History of China's National Day

On October 1, 1949, the People's Republic of China was inaugurated. An official victory celebration and ceremony was held in Tian’anmen Square. Mao Zedong raised the first Communist national flag of China in person amid 300,000 soldiers and other people who were gathered at the square.

National Day Celebrations/Activities

Tian'anmen Tian'anmen Square is decorated by flowers during China's National Day holiday

In recent years, the National Day holidays were extended to one week. It is like the US 4th of July holidays, but it is much longer.

The National Day Flag Raising Ceremony

Tian’anmen Square: On October 1, there is a special flag raising ceremony. The square is decorated festively with flags and portraits. Exactly at sunrise, uniformed troops march out to start the flag raising ceremony.

To watch it, you'll need to get there at least about 10 minutes before then. The entire ceremony lasts only 3 minutes. Sometimes crowds of thousands are there on October 1, but sometimes in bad weather, only a small crowd gathers.

To get into the plaza, you have to go through a security check. Your baggage will be checked, and it is best to bring little with you.

Other National Day Vacation Activities

Firework showFirework show
  • The government also sponsors firework displays and light shows in the city.
  • Retail/tourism on overdrive: It's called the golden week as it's shops/sights biggest profit-bringing week of the year.
  • Other sectors closed: Government offices close, China's embassies might be closed, and companies, factories, and restaurants might close for at least a day or two.
  • R&R: Chinese like to take it easy during the holidays, go traveling, eat well, and give gifts, and many try to visit back home.

Recommended National Day Holiday Tours

For the busy places: The most pleasant, direct, and interesting way to go is with a private tour company such as ours. Save time and money, as our travel experts find the best accommodations and tickets during the peak travel days.

Our tours are known for being hassle free and individualized for our customers. Visit the places you want, as we create your own dream trip.

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