Public holidays in China

There are currently seven official public holidays in mainland China. Each year's holidays are announced about three weeks before the start of the year by the General Office of the State Council. A notable feature of mainland Chinese holidays is that weekends are usually swapped with the weekdays next to the actual holiday to create a longer holiday period.

DateEnglish nameChinese name (Simplified)Pinyin2014[1]2015201620172018[2]
January 1New Year元旦Yuándàn1 January1 January1 January1 January1 January
1st day of 1st Lunisolar monthSpring Festival[lower-alpha 1]春节Chūnjié31 January19 February8 February28 January16 February[lower-alpha 2]
5th solar term (April 4 or April 5)Tomb-Sweeping Day清明节Qīngmíng jié5 April5 April4 April4 April5 April[lower-alpha 3]
May 1Labour Day劳动节Láodòng jié1 May1 May1 May1 May1 May[lower-alpha 4]
5th day of 5th Lunisolar monthDragon Boat Festival端午节Duānwǔ jié2 June20 June9 June30 May18 June[lower-alpha 5]
15th day of 8th Lunisolar monthMid-Autumn Festival中秋节Zhōngqiū jié8 September27 September15 September4 October24 September[lower-alpha 5]
October 1National Day国庆节Guóqìng jié1 October1 October1 October1 October1 October[lower-alpha 6]

History

Festivals in China have been around since the Qin Dynasty around 221-206 BC. During the more prosperous Tang Dynasty from AD 618-907, festivals involved less sacrifice and mystery to more entertainment.[3] Culminating to the modern era Between the 1920s until around the 1970s, the Chinese began observing two sets of holidays, which were the traditional and what became "official", celebrating the accomplishments of the communist regime.[4] There was then a major reform in 2008, abolishing the Labour Day Golden Week and adding three traditional Chinese holidays (Qingming Festival, Duanwu Festival, and Mid-Autumn Festival).[5] From at least 2000 until this reform, the Spring Festival public holiday began on New Year's Day itself. From 2008 to 2013 it was shifted back by one day to begin on Chinese New Year's Eve. In 2014, New Year's Eve became a working day again, which provoked hostile discussion by netizens and academics.[6][7]

Overview

Holidays in China are complicated and are one of the least predictable among developed nations. In all these holidays, if the holiday lands on a weekend, the days will be reimbursed after the weekend.

The Chinese New Year and National Day holidays are three days long. The week-long holidays on May (Labor) Day and National Day began in 2000, as a measure to increase and encourage holiday spending. The resulting seven-day holidays are called "Golden Weeks" (黄金周), and have become peak seasons for travel and tourism. In 2008, the Labor Day holiday was shortened to three days to reduce travel rushes to just twice a year, and instead, three traditional Chinese holidays were added.

Generally, if there is a three-day holiday, the government will declare it to be a seven-day holiday. However, citizens are required to work during a nearby weekend. Businesses and schools would then treat the affected Saturdays and Sundays as the weekdays that the weekend has been swapped with. Schedules are released late in the year prior and might change during the year.

The following is a graphical schematic of how the weekend shifting works.

Additional holidays for specific social groups

In addition to these holidays, applicable to the whole population, there are four official public holidays applicable to specific sections of the population:

DateEnglish nameChinese namePinyinApplicable to
March 8International Women's Day国际妇女节Guójì fùnǚ jiéWomen (half-day)
May 4Youth Day青年节Qīngnián jiéYouth from the age of 14 to 28 (half-day)
June 1Children's Day六一儿童节Liùyī értóng jiéChildren below the age of 14 (1 day)
August 1Army Day建军节Jiàn jūn jiéMilitary personnel in active service (half-day)

The closeness of Labor Day and Youth Day resulted in an unexpectedly long break for schools in 2008 - the Youth Day half-holiday entitlement had been largely forgotten because it has been subsumed into the Golden Week.

Traditional holiday scheme

DateEnglish nameLocal namePinyinRemarks
January 1New Year元旦Yuándàn
1st day of 1st Lunisolar monthSpring Festival (Chinese New Year)春节ChūnjiéBased on Chinese calendar. Holidays last seamlessly, two full weeks, up to the Lantern Festival (see below).
15th day of 1st Lunisolar monthLantern Festival元宵节Yuánxiāo jiéBased on Chinese calendar
2nd day of 2nd Lunisolar monthZhonghe Festival (Dragon Raising its Head)中和节Zhōng hé jiéBased on Chinese calendar
March 8International Women's Day国际妇女节Guójì fùnǚ jié
March 12Arbor Day植树节Zhíshù jiéAlso known as National Tree Planting Day (全民义务植树日 Quánmín yìwù zhíshù rì)
5th Solar Term (usually April 4–6)Qingming Festival (Chinese Memorial Day)清明节Qīngmíng jiéBased on the Qingming solar term.
May 1Labour Day劳动节Láodòng jiéInternational Workers' Day
May 4Youth Day青年节Qīngnián jiéCommemorating the May Fourth Movement
June 1Children's Day六一儿童节Liùyī értóng jié
5th day of 5th Lunisolar monthDragon Boat Festival (Duanwujie)端午节Duānwǔ jiéBased on Chinese calendar
July 1CPC Founding Day建党节Jiàndǎng jiéFormation of 1st National Congress in July 1921
July 11China National Maritime Day中国航海日Zhōngguó hánghǎi rìThe anniversary of Zheng He's first voyage
August 1People's Liberation Army (PLA) Day建军节Jiàn jūn jiéNanchang Uprising (南昌起义 Nánchāng qǐyì) on August 1, 1927
7th day of 7th Lunisolar monthDouble Seven Festival七夕QīxìThe Chinese Valentine's Day, based on Chinese calendar
15th day of 7th Lunisolar monthSpirit Festival (Ghost Festival)中元节Zhōng yuán jiéBased on Chinese calendar
15th day of 8th Lunisolar monthMid-Autumn Festival (Moon Festival)中秋节Zhōngqiū jiéBased on Chinese calendar
September 3Victory over Japan DayHonoring the Allied victory over Japan and the end of the Second World War in the Pacific (new holiday established 2014)
September 30National Memorial DayHonoring all the fallen of the country right before National Day, new holiday established in 2014
October 1National Day国庆节Guóqìng jiéFounding of PRC on October 1, 1949
9th day of 9th Lunisolar monthChongyang Festival重阳节Chóngyáng jiéBased on Chinese calendar.
December 13Nanking Massacre Memorial DayNew holiday established in 2014 to honor the thousands of Chinese lives lost during the events of the 1938 Nanking Massacre

Ethnic Minorities Holidays

There are public holidays celebrate by certain ethnic minorities in certain regions, which are decided by local governments. The following are holidays at province-level divisions.

DateEnglish nameLocal nameChinese namePinyinEthnic GroupsRemarks
1st day of Tibetan yearLosarལོ་གསར洛萨/藏历新年Luò sà / zànglì xīnniánTibetan7 days in Tibet
30.6 of Tibetan calendarSho Dun༄༅། ཞོ་སྟོན།雪顿节Xuě dùn jiéTibetan1 day in Tibet
1.10 of Islamic calendarEid ul-Fitr开斋节/肉孜节Kāizhāi jié / ròu zī jiéHui, Uyghur and other Muslims2 days for all in Ningxia; 1 day for Muslims (only) in Xinjiang
10.12 of Islamic calendarEid al-Adha古尔邦节Gǔ'ěrbāng jiéHui, Uyghur and other Muslims2 days for all in Ningxia; 3 days for Muslims, 1 day for others in Xinjiang
3rd day of the 3rd Lunisolar monthSam Nyied SamSam Nyied Sam三月三Sān Yuè SānZhuang3 days in Guangxi

The following are traditional holidays at prefecture-level divisions, and there are more at lower level divisions, i.e. county-level.

DateCelebrating LocationEnglish nameChinese namePinyinEthnic GroupsRemarks
6th day of the 6th Lunisolar monthQiannan and QianxinanLiuyueliu六月六Liù Yuè LiùBouyei1 day in Qiannan and Qianxinan
8th day of the 8th Lunisolar monthQiannan and QianxinanBayueba八月八Bā Yuè BāMiao1 day in Qiannan and Qianxinan
10th day of the 9th Lunisolar monthDehong阿露窝罗节 Ā Lù Wō Luó JiéAchang2 day in Dehong
1st day of Tibetan yearDêqên, Garzê, Gannan and NgawaLosar藏历年Luò sà / zànglì xīnniánTibetan3 days in Dêqên, Garzê, Gannan and Ngawa
24th day of the 6th Lunisolar monthHonghe矻扎扎节Kū Zhā Zhā JiéHani2 days in Honghe
24th day of the 6th Lunisolar monthChuxiong, Liangshan and HongheFire Festival火把节Huǒ Bǎ JiéYi5 days in Chuxiong, Liangshan and 3 days in Honghe
20 SeptemberNujiang阔时节Kuò Shí JiéLisu3 days in Nujiang
15th day of the 1st Lunisolar monthDehongManau Festival目瑙纵歌节Mùnǎo Zónggē JiéJingpo2 days in Dehong
5th day of the 5th Lunisolar monthWenshan闹兜阳Nào DōuyángMiao3 days in Wenshan, often celebrates together with Dragon Boat Festival
13 AprilDehong and XishuangbannaWater-Sprinkling Festival or Songkran泼水节Pō Shuǐ JiéDai2 days in Dehong and Xishuangbanna
1st day of the 10th Lunisolar monthNgawaQiang New Year羌历年Qiānglì NiánQiang5 days in Ngawa
15th to 22nd day of the 3rd Lunisolar monthDali三月街Sān Yuè JiēBai7 days in Dali
3rd day of the 3rd Lunisolar monthWenshanSam Nyied Sam三月三Sān Yuè SānZhuang3 days in Wenshan
1st day of the Yi Calendar, often falls in the 10th Lunisolar monthChuxiong and LiangshanYi New Year彝族年Yízú NiánYi5 days in Chuxiong and Liangshan
1.10 of Islamic calendarLinxiaEid ul-Fitr开斋节Kāizhāi jiéHui3 days in Linxia
10.12 of Islamic calendarLinxiaEid al-Adha or Kurban Festival古尔邦节Gǔ'ěrbāng jiéHui3 days in Linxia

Besides, the following Autonomous Prefectures celebrates their founding date (州庆纪念日 Zhōuqìng JìNiàn Rì or 州庆日 Zhōuqìng Rì in Chinese). Generally government takes 1 day off to all people working in such prefectures.

Celebrating LocationDate
Chuxiong15 April
Dali22 November
Dehong23 July
Dêqên13 September
Enshi19 August
Gannan1 October
Garzê24 November
Liangshan1 October
Linxia19 November
Ngawa2 January
Nujiang23 August
Qiandongnan23 July
Qiannan8 August
Qianxinan1 May
Wenshan1 April
Xiangxi20 September
Xishuangbanna23 January
Yanbian3 September

Novel holidays

Some Chinese young adults have begun to celebrate 11 November as Singles Day (Chinese: 光棍节; pinyin: guāng gùn jié) because of the many ones (1s) and many singles in the date.[8]

Serfs Emancipation Day (March 28) was established in Tibet in 2009.

See also

Notes

  1. The authorities always refer to "Chinese New Year" as 'Spring Festival' since they recognize the Gregorian calendar.
  2. Sun 26 January and Sat 8 February are working days. This is officially counted as a seven-day holiday.
  3. The traditional date of the festival falls on a Saturday, so the public holiday has been transferred to Monday.
  4. Sun 4 is a working day.
  5. 1 2 The authorities combine it with the weekend to make a 3-day holiday.
  6. Sat 29 Sept and Sun 30 Sept are working days.

References

  1. 国务院办公厅关于2014年 部分节假日安排的通知 (in Chinese). General Office of the State Council of the People's Republic of China. 2013. Retrieved 2014-02-11. Issued 11 December 2013.
  2. "General Office of the State Council on 2018 Some holiday arrangements notice". Retrieved 2018-04-27.
  3. "Traditional Chibese Festivals".
  4. "Chinese Festivals".
  5. Xinhuanet.com "Xinhuanet.com." How will people spend China's 1st Qingming Festival holiday?. Retrieved on 2008-04-04.
  6. Hite, Brittany (2013). "China's 2014 Holiday Schedule: Still Complicated". China Realtime. Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2014-02-11.
  7. Reuters Shanghai (2013-12-12). "China's revised 2014 holiday schedule sparks public ire". Reuters. Retrieved 2014-01-02.
  8. "Thinking Chinese - A holiday invasion – Why are Chinese enthusiastically adopting new festive events?". Retrieved August 29, 2012.
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