For those who aren’t familiar with the lunar calendar, staying on top of holidays in China can be complicated and confusing. It doesn’t help that the government changes its public holidays each year, and doesn’t release a a list of national holidays for the coming year until, usually, December of the year before. There are, however, some important Chinese holidays that can be expected to occur every year, and this guide will help you familiarize yourself with those. Your own research will be required, especially for future years, to know what holidays to expect in China, but read on for a primer on the basics of bank and public holidays in the country.
There are 10 national holidays in China, depending on the year.
- Chinese public holidays: 10
- Chinese bank holidays: 8
Mother’s Day isn't widely celebrated in China, but it’s gaining popularity there. Many have rejected it as a custom that originated in the United States, but respect for elders is very much in line with Chinese culture, so it’s gaining traction. Carnations are the most common gift given to mothers on Mother’s Day. Mother’s Day isn't considered a public holiday in China though.
In mainland China, Father’s Day isn't widely known. In areas with larger international populations, like Hong Kong and Macau, some celebrate it, but it's not a recognized holiday in China.
While China’s holiday calendar will vary each year, there are a handful of holidays and festivals that can be expected yearly. The most important of these by far is the Chinese New Year, which is celebrated with fireworks, traditional food and dances and wearing red for luck in the coming year.
China celebrates International Women’s Day on March 8th. On that day, women are allowed to take a half day off work if they would like to.
Spring and mid-autumn festivals are widely celebrated in China. There’s also Tomb Sweeping Day in the spring for honoring the dead. Chinese laborers enjoy a three-day weekend on International Labour Day. And Chinese National Day, which commemorates the founding of the People’s Republic of China, is celebrated with fireworks and concerts.
|Holiday||Name of holiday in Chinese (Simplified)||2017 Date||Bank holiday?|
|Western New Year||元旦||1 January, 2017||Yes, observed on 2 January, 2017|
|Chinese New Year||春节||27 January through 2 February, 2017||Yes|
|Women’s Day||国际妇女节||8 March, 2017||No|
|Ching Ming Festival||清明节||2-4 April, 2017||Yes|
|Tomb Sweeping Day||清明节||4 April, 2017||Yes|
|Labour Day||劳动节||May 1, 2017||Yes|
|Dragon Boat Festival||端午节||28-30 May, 2017||Yes|
|National Day||国庆节||1 October, 2017||Yes, observed 1-6 October, 2017|
|Mid-Autumn Festival||中秋节||4 October, 2017||Yes|
|Chung Yeung Festival||重阳节||28 October, 2017||No|
|Holiday||Name of holiday in Chinese (Simplified)||2018 Date||Bank holiday?|
|Western New Year||元旦||1 January, 2018||Yes|
|Chinese New Year||春节||15-21 February, 2018||Yes|
|Women’s Day||国际妇女节||8 March, 2018||No|
|Tomb Sweeping Day||清明节||5 April, 2018||Yes|
|Labour Day||劳动节||May 1, 2018||Yes|
|Dragon Boat Festival||端午节||Around 18 June, 2018||Yes|
|National Day||国庆节||1 October, 2018||Yes, observed 1-5 October, 2018|
|Mid-Autumn Festival||中秋节||24 September, 2018||Yes|
|Chung Yeung Festival||重阳节||17 October, 2018||No|
|Holiday||Name of holiday in Chinese (Simplified)||2019 Date||Bank holiday?|
|Western New Year||元旦||1 January, 2019||Yes|
|Chinese New Year||春节||4-10 February, 2019||Yes|
|Women’s Day||国际妇女节||8 March, 2019||No|
|Tomb Sweeping Day||清明节||5 April, 2019||Yes|
|Labour Day||劳动节||May 1, 2019||Yes|
|Dragon Boat Festival||端午节||Around 7 June, 2019||Yes|
|National Day||国庆节||30 September through 4 October, 2019||Yes|
|Mid-Autumn Festival||中秋节||13 September, 2019||Yes|
|Chung Yeung Festival||重阳节||7 October, 2019||No|
Unless you’re familiar with the lunar calendar, making international bank transfers to and from China around the holidays could be tricky — you might get caught needing to make a transfer on a day that banks are unexpectedly closed. Instead of transferring through a bank, give TransferWise a try. TransferWise allows you to move money as quickly as possible for as little as possible by moving money between local accounts, so it never crosses borders. That means you don’t pay any international or intermediary fees. TransferWise also uses the actual exchange rate, like you'd see on Google, without any hidden fees or markups. All you have to pay is a small, fair transfer fee that’s spelled out upfront.
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Moving money across borders doesn’t have to be difficult, slow or expensive. Try TransferWise today to see the difference.
Celebrating like a local in China is just a matter of being aware of the country’s holidays and customs. Now that you know the basics, you’re ready for a fun holiday season without any unexpected holidays.
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