China National Day, officially the National Day of the People's Republic of China, is annually celebrated on October 1st to commemorate the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949. Chinese people enjoy a 7-day holiday from Oct. 1st to 7th, which is known as Golden Week. There are usually many activities held around the country, especially in Beijing. It is a peak time for Chinese people to travel at home and abroad.
2023 Chinese National Day Holiday – Golden Week
National Day holiday is fixed at October 1–7 with adjacent weekend days being mandatory workdays to make up for the lost time.
In 2023, the holiday dates are Oct. 1st to 7th, 2023. People will be on duty on Oct. 8 (Sat) and Oct. 9 (Sun).
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This one-week period is also called "golden week" because it is the biggest week for tourism in China when people have a week off to reunite with families and take trips.
Many tourist attractions raise tickets prices, prices of flights and hotel rooms soar during National Day Golden Week.
- 5-Day Lhasa Classics and Lake Yamdrok Tour — Lhasa Highlights and Holy Lake
- 5-Day Daocheng and Yading Tour — Walk in Fairy Tales of Autumn
- 7-Day Dunhuang, Zhangye, and Ejina Photography Tour
- 2-Day Jiankou Wild Great Wall Camping Tour
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 were 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
China National Day is celebrated throughout Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, and Macau with a variety of activities. Public places are decorated with flags and flowers. Beijing host the biggest celebrations.
Oct. 1st Military Review & Parade in Beijing
The highlight of the national celebrations in Beijing is the national civil-military parade. It does not hold annually, and it is now held on a small scale every 5 years and on a large scale every 10 years.
The National Day Flag Raising Ceremony
On October 1, there is a special flag raising ceremony at Tian'anmen Square. The square is decorated festively with flags and portraits. Exactly at sunrise, uniformed troops march out to start the flag raising ceremony.
Other National Day Vacation Activities
- 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.
China Golden Week Travel Tips
Travel in China is gradually resuming. Cross-province tours are allowed in China. Foreign nationals currently in China can travel in China as long as they have the required documents (including ID card, passport, green health code, etc.). Get inspiration for your National Day holiday arrangements here.
- Avoid traveling to popular places during this period (strong recommendation).
- 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.
- Avoid crowded transport: It is very crowded in popular areas. We recommend air travel. The trains, even the fast trains, will be packed. Soft bed luxury cabins on the long-distance fast trains are a possibility, but you'll still face crowded stations.
- Visit less traveled destinations: See on Top Places to Escape the Golden Week Crowds for places to go and things to do where you'll leave the National Day crowds behind.
Recommended National Day Holiday Tours
If you are planning a tour to China around the first week of October, let us help you avoid problems. See these recommendations below for your inspiration:
- 4-Day Shangri-La Exploration Tour — A good vacation destination and a great place to escape the typical tourist crowds.
- 5-Day Dynamic Guilin and Yangshuo Tour — Linger longer and enjoy more.
- 8-Day Chengdu to Shangri-La Adventure Tour — A memorable road trip on the highways connecting Han area and Tibetan area.
- 6-Day Xiahe, Langmusi and Zhagana Tour — Get a true taste of Tibetan culture outside Tibet
- See our 6 Recommended Tour Itinerary for China Expats for more inspiration.
For the busy places: The most pleasant and interesting way to go is with a private tour company such as ours. To save your time and money, our travel experts could 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.