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China Travel Guide

Public holidays

Public holidays The Chinese calendar, which is based on the lunar and solar calendars, has a wide diversity of traditional and modern holidays. During these festivals, nearly all businesses are closed or work on restricted hours.

The most important holiday and the unique remaining traditional festival, is the Chinese New Year or Spring Festival, which is celebrated in January.

During the three days that lasts the festival, almost all stores and offices areclosed down and the central streets of the principal cities are crowded by jubilant people. The Spring Festival is normally extended for another eleven days of rest. The majority of government offices, banks and some business work on reduced hours until the official conclusion of the holiday time.

The other traditional Chinese holydays, like the Qingming Festival and the Mid-autumn Festival, are not marked by official holidays, though the increasing tendency for facilities to operate restricted hours at these periods.

Since 1949, state has been added a series of new public holidays, like January 1 (New Year's Day) and October 1 (National Day). Government offices close on these dates while several shops remain open.

In recent years Chinese also have celebrated modern holidays like March 8 (Women's Day), May 1 (Labor Day), with some festive activities, but people donít have a massive participation on these holidays, in fact businesses and offices work normally on these dates.

It is important to consider that minority nationalities celebrate their own festivals. Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao have also their own traditional and official holidays.

Holiday Description
New Year's Day Date: January 1; Duration: 1 day
Chinese New Year Date: 1st day of 1st lunar month; Duration: 3 days
Qing Ming (Pure & Bright in Chinese) Date: 5th Solar Term (early April); Duration: 1 day
Labor Day Date: May 1; Duration: 1 day
Duan Wu (Dragon Boat) Festival Date: 5th day of 5th lunar month; Duration: 1 day
Mid-Autumn Festival Date: 15th day of 8th lunar month; Duration: 1 day
National Day Date: October 1; Duration: 3 days
International Women's Day Date: March 8; Duration: half-day
Youth Day Date: May 4; Duration: half-day
Children's Day Date: June 1; Duration: 1 day
Army Day Date: August 1; Duration: half-day

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