Chinese Public Holidays 2018
Here is the complete list of 2018 Chinese public holidays observed across China. If you are planning a 2018 China trip, you might want to use this as a guide to avoid some of them.
New Year’s Day: January 1
This is a one day holiday in China. New Year’s Day is not a traditional Chinese holiday. It has been celebrated since 1949 when China under the Communist government officially switched to Gregorian calendar. That is exactly 367 years after Pope Gregory XIII introduced it.
Spring Festival: February 15 – 21 (7 days)
The Spring Festival is a traditional Chinese holiday according to the Chinese lunar calendar. Therefore, the date changes every year on the Gregorian calendar. For Chinese, this is the most important holiday whose significance corresponds to Christmas among Christians. It is a time for family reunion. Everybody seems to be on the move around this time including the week before and after the 7-day holiday. Airports, train stations and highways become extremely crowded. This is the public holiday you definitely should avoid.
Qingming (Tomb Sweeping): April 5-6
This is a traditional Chinese holiday when Chinese pay homage to their ancestors at tomb sites. If you visit China during this holiday, be sure to book your train and air tickets far ahead.
Labour Day: April 29 – May 1
The International Workers’ Day is also known as Labour Day in some countries. It is a celebration of labourers and the working classes that falls on May 1. The public holiday commemorates the Haymarket affair, which occurred in Chicago on 4 May 1886. The Labour Day holiday in China was once extended to 7 days. The Chinese achieved that by moving down and pushing up the weekend before and after May 1. The idea was to boost consumer consumption. However, the decision was rescinded in 2008 due to public complaints. During this 3-day holiday, budget hotels in major tourist cities are overcrowded. At the same time, luxury hotels in commercial hubs such as Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen are deserted. Also, air fares skyrocket and train tickets are hard to come by.
Duanwu (Dragon Boat) Festival: June 18
The history of this traditional Chinese holiday is long and convoluted. Nowadays, it is often associated with dragon boat racing. To lend dragon boat racing special significance, some attributed its roots to the legend of Qu Yuan (circa 340–278 BC) – a patriotic poet and politician.
Mid-Autumn Festival: Sept 24
This is the second most important traditional holiday for the Chinese. It is the American and Canadian equivalent of Thanksgiving. People who can’t be with their extended family would feel sad. The traditional celebration includes a family dinner banquet, followed by moon watching. Watching the beautiful full moon cannot be complete without a pot of tea, seasonal fruits and, of course, moon cakes!
National Day Holiday: October 1-7
Of all the public holidays, this one impacts overseas visitors the most. The weather in early October is perfect for travelling around China. But, everywhere you go you’d be surrounded by big crowds. Generally, overcrowding at major tourist attractions such as the Great Wall and the Forbidden City reaches its peak on October 1 and 2. The number of visitors begins to drop on October 3. By October 6, the sites would appear deserted. The dates you should avoid would be October 1 to 4 if you are planning a trip to China.
Our China tours have departures as early as October 3. However, the guests have nothing to worry about because they arrive the next day and won’t have any sightseeing scheduled till October 5. By that time, the tourist sites are no longer crowded.
Those are the 2018 Chinese public holidays you need to be aware of when planning a trip to China. There are no public holidays in March, July, August, November and December.
2018 China Tours Not Overlapping Chinese Public Holidays
Laurus Travel has many 2018 China tours not overlapping any of the above-mentioned Chinese public holidays. We hope you’ll find a trip that best suits your needs.