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There are many legal holidays in China, but most of them shouldn't affect your tour planning, which means that you don't have to worry about traffic jams or hotels being overbooked.
However, there are two long national holidays that you need to know about: Chinese New Year (also called the Spring Festival), which is in January or February, and the National Day holiday, which is held in the first week of October. During these two holidays, the traffic is very busy and your general travel experience will be very crowded.
|Holiday Name||2018 Date||2018 Days Off||2019 Date||2019 Days Off|
|New Year's Day||Jan. 1||Dec. 30, 2017–Jan. 1, 2018||Jan. 1||TBA|
|Chinese New Year (Spring Festival)||Feb. 16||Feb. 15–21||Feb. 5||Feb. 4–10|
|School Winter Holidays||About 15 days before and after Chinese New Year|
|Women's Day (women have half a day off)||Mar. 8||Mar. 8||Mar. 8||Mar. 8|
|The Qingming Festival||Apr. 5||Apr. 5–7||Apr. 5||TBA|
|The Zhuang Song Festival (only in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region)||Apr. 18||Apr. 18–22||Apr. 7||TBA|
|Labor Day||May 1||Apr. 29–May 1||May 1||TBA|
|China's Youth Day (youths below 28 years old have half a day off)||May 4||May 4||May 4||May 4|
|Children's Day (children below 14 years old have 1 day off)||June 1||June 1||June 1||June 1|
|The Dragon Boat Festival||June 18||June 16–18||June 7||TBA|
|School Summer Holidays||Early July to late August|
|The Mid-Autumn Festival||Sep. 24||Sept. 22–24||Sep. 13||TBA|
|National Day||Oct. 1||Oct. 1–7||Oct. 1||TBA|
Note: Some 2019 dates are to be announced (TBA). They will be updated at the end of 2018.
Mainland China doesn't have days off to celebrate Christmas; only Hong Kong and Macau have public holidays for Christmas. Although there are no days off, decorations and shopping activities are very popular. If you are visiting China during Christmas, there won't be many crowds during your trip.
A unique feature of Chinese holidays is that weekends, which are usually days off for office workers, are worked if there is a public holiday that week. For example, if Monday to Wednesday is a public holiday then the weekend beforehand is worked, so the statutory holiday is effectively only one day.
Tourist attractions, hotels, and transportation are at their most crowded on public holidays. Government offices and banks are shut but shops and other amenities stay open.
However, during Chinese New Year, most establishments close for up to a week, except for those which particularly serve travelers, such as hotels and large restaurants.
There are 55 minorities in China and many minorities have their own unique festivals. They won't affect your China tour as only the local citizens and the minority people have days off to celebrate, not the whole of China. While not everyone has days off during the festivals, some do participate in celebratory activities or interesting performances.
If you are interested in experiencing the minority festivals, please click the links below to learn more about them:
If you want to visit China to experience traditional Chinese festivals, or you want to avoid the holiday crowds, we can help you. View our top 10 China tours, or see our top recommendations for a first tour: