Bank and public holidays in China: 2017-2018 guide

TransferWise
10.07.18
4 minute read

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.

National holidays in China

There are 10 national holidays in China, depending on the year.

  • Chinese public holidays: 10
  • Chinese bank holidays: 8

Celebrating Mother’s Day and Father’s Day in China

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.

The most important holidays and dates 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.

List of public holidays in China for 2017

HolidayName of holiday in Chinese (Simplified)2017 DateBank holiday?
Western New Year元旦1 January, 2017Yes, observed on 2 January, 2017
Chinese New Year春节27 January through 2 February, 2017Yes
Women’s Day国际妇女节8 March, 2017No
Ching Ming Festival清明节2-4 April, 2017Yes
Tomb Sweeping Day清明节4 April, 2017Yes
Labour Day劳动节May 1, 2017Yes
Dragon Boat Festival端午节28-30 May, 2017Yes
National Day国庆节1 October, 2017Yes, observed 1-6 October, 2017
Mid-Autumn Festival中秋节4 October, 2017Yes
Chung Yeung Festival重阳节28 October, 2017No

List of public holidays in China for 2018

HolidayName of holiday in Chinese (Simplified)2018 DateBank holiday?
Western New Year元旦1 January, 2018Yes
Chinese New Year春节15-21 February, 2018Yes
Women’s Day国际妇女节8 March, 2018No
Tomb Sweeping Day清明节5 April, 2018Yes
Labour Day劳动节May 1, 2018Yes
Dragon Boat Festival端午节Around 18 June, 2018Yes
National Day国庆节1 October, 2018Yes, observed 1-5 October, 2018
Mid-Autumn Festival中秋节24 September, 2018Yes
Chung Yeung Festival重阳节17 October, 2018No

List of public holidays in China for 2019

HolidayName of holiday in Chinese (Simplified)2019 DateBank holiday?
Western New Year元旦1 January, 2019Yes
Chinese New Year春节4-10 February, 2019Yes
Women’s Day国际妇女节8 March, 2019No
Tomb Sweeping Day清明节5 April, 2019Yes
Labour Day劳动节May 1, 2019Yes
Dragon Boat Festival端午节Around 7 June, 2019Yes
National Day国庆节30 September through 4 October, 2019Yes
Mid-Autumn Festival中秋节13 September, 2019Yes
Chung Yeung Festival重阳节7 October, 2019No

Sending money home for the holidays in China?

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.

TransferWise also offers borderless multi-currency accounts, which allow users to manage, send and receive money in multiple global currencies all at the same time — 27 currencies so far, with more being added all the time. If you live in one country and get paid in the UK, the US, the EU or Australia, then you can even get bank details to get paid like a local. Borderless account holders will also have access to consumer debit cards beginning in 2018.

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.

TransferWise is the smart, new way to send money abroad.

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