2015 Bank Holidays in China refers to the official holidays that are observed in the Peoples’ Republic of China. However, the pattern followed to ascertain the public holidays in china are not so predictable and is a little complicated to follow.
In fact, the Wall Street journal had once mentioned that the holiday pattern in China is “notoriously complicated”. China is a land of rich culture and heritage, and because of it many traditions and customs are followed in various parts of the country. Naturally all those do not come under nationwide holiday list.
Also, the list of holidays in China have been revised and amended time and again. At present, it is the custom for the General Office of the State Council of China to declare the holidays about three weeks before the beginning of the New Year. This is because of the fact that Chinese traditional celebrations follow the lunar calendar and as such calculations have to be made to coordinate the dates according to the modern day calendar system.
Another interesting feature about the holidays as observed in the mainland China is the fact that when such a day falls in a weekend, then they are swapped with the next weekday to come to gift to the people an actual non working day, and also to create a longer vacation period so that the people can actually enjoy the festivals in a relaxed manner.
At present, the list of Bank Holidays in China is as follows:
New Years Day – The Chinese people celebrate the New Year according to the modern calendar which much pomp. This is referred to as ‘Yuan Dan’ where Yuan means beginning and Dan means day.
Chinese New Year Eve – This is the day when the homes receive the final touch of spring cleaning. The altars in the homes are also cleaned. The most significant celebration observed on this day is the Reunion Dinner where the family gets together to eat symbolic food and pray for a safe passage to the New Year. Often this Reunion dinner is held at the house of the eldest member of the clan where the rest of the family unites.
Chinese New Year – This is celebrated on the first day of the lunar month of the Chinese traditional calendar. This is also known as the Spring Festival and is the longest holiday season in the country. Preparations and celebrations last for weeks. Customs and traditions too are pretty elaborate. But to put them all in a nutshell, people decorate and clean homes, wear new clothes, eat symbolic food, participate or watch Dragon Dance, fly kites, visit family and friends, exchange gifts, etc. Elders gift the younger ones money often contained in a Red Envelope for red is the color of prosperity.
Women’s Day – Since 1975, along with the rest of the World, China has also celebrated Women’s Day. On this day all women are granted half day off. Children are encouraged to show respect to their mother. Other members of the family help the women with the chores, and it is now a custom for the women to enjoy a dinner out with the family.
Qing Ming Festival – Qing Ming Festival also goes by the names of Tomb Sweeping Day and Pure Brightness Festival. This day is celebrated in the first week of April according to the modern day calendar. This day marks one of the twenty four Solar Terms that the Chinese people follow. This is that time of the year when the spring season sets in China, the temperatures start to rise and also the country starts to experience more rainfall. As such, this is the right time for the farmers to sow and plough. In the ancient times Chinese society was mainly agrarian, and as such, it was very important to gauge the perfect time for the agricultural activities. The right weather would bring bounty and prosperity in the year to come. As such Qing Ming Festival has been considered to be a significant one. However, this is not a day to only symbolize the seasonal transition. This is also a day to pay homage to the deceased. People do so by sweeping the tombs from which the day takes the name of Tomb Sweeping Day. This is also a time to enjoy the outdoors for the weather is pleasant – this is as such the day for spring outing too. Other customs include flying kites.
Labor Day – China celebrates May 1 as the International Labor Day. This is the day which pays tribute to the contribution of the people belonging to the Working Class that plays a major role in shaping the economy of any country. It is also a time to remember the struggle of the Labor Unions to achieve stipulated wages, working hours and human rights for these workers.
Dragon Boat Festival – This day is celebrated on the fifth day of the fifth month as per the lunar calendar system followed by the Chinese people. This festival has been an integral part of Chinese celebrations for more than 2000 years now. This is the day that upholds one’s dedication to the country. The Dragon Boat Festival is the day to pay respect to the poet Qu Yuan (340-278 BC) who was so patriotic that he decided to sacrifice his life rather than see his country being captured by another. This is also the time that the Chinese people are reminded to take care of their physique and keep the diseases at bay. The day takes its name from the fact that when the poet drowned himself in the river, the people of the village rowed boats that had the front shaped like Chinese Dragon to save him. To commemorate this, even to this day Dragon Boat competition is held. It is believed that the team that wins brings bounty and prosperity to their native village. Eating the symbolic food of Zong Zi, which is rice wrapped in reed or bamboo leaves and shaped like pyramid, is also the custom. People also believe that if children wear fragrant pouches on this day, they are protected from evil eyes. Since the country gets stricken by different kinds of diseases this time of the year, it is also the custom to clean homes thoroughly and hang fragrant and medicinal herbs to keep pests at bay and to purify the air.
Mid Autumn Festival – This day is commemorated on the fifteenth day of the eighth month as per the traditional Chinese lunar calendar. The festival takes its name from the fact that it is celebrated in the middle of autumn. The festival is also known by the name of Moon Festival, for the Chinese people believe that the moon is the brightest during this time of the year. The Chinese people have always referred to the Moon for their various calculations for they believe that the transition of the moon is closely intertwined with the seasonal changes and also with the harvest. As such they deem it fit to pay their homage to the Moon during this time of the year. The symbolic food for the occasion is the Moon Cake which is sacrificed before the Moon on this day and an offering is made to the Moon after which these are eaten as a part of the celebration. The circular shape of the Moon Cake symbolizes the Full Moon and also represents the coming together of the family members. People also gift each other hampers of this Moon Cake to wish long life and happiness.
National Day – This day has its modern form of connotation since the year 1950 after the National Day of the People’s Republic of China was declared the previous year. But the celebration of this day finds its origin way back during the times of the Western Jin Dynasty that lasted from 265 AD to 316 AD, as in ancient China this day was celebrated to commemorate the ascension to throne by the Emperor. It was also celebrated to mark the birth anniversary of the Emperor. In the present times the date of the celebration has been fixed to October 1st each year and the commemorations last for seven days. A lot of activities are organized for the purpose all across the country. October 1 – 7 is known as Golden Week in China for there is a surge in business with people travelling and shopping in mass scale.
Chung Yeung Festival – This day is commemorated on the ninth day of the ninth month as per the traditional lunar calendar followed in China. Because of this the day is also known by the name of The Double Ninth Festival. This day has been commemorated since the East Han period which dates back to even before 25AD. According to Chinese belief nine being a yang number, a day that has double nine factors is an inauspicious one. It is a custom to climb high places to avoid any danger. People often visit hill stations on this occasion, hike mountains, or organize for picnics or outings at hilly areas. People also wear certain plants like chrysanthemum or zhuyu which are known for their cleansing properties. The symbolic food for the occasion is Chongyang Cake. It is also the time for people to visit the graves of the ancestors to pay their homage.
List of 2015 Bank Holidays in China
|Thursday||January 01||New Years Day|
|Friday||January 02||New Year’s Holiday|
|Wednesday||February 18||Chinese New Year Eve|
|Thursday||February 19||Chinese New Year|
|Friday||February 20||Chinese New Year|
|Monday||February 23||Chinese New Year|
|Tuesday||February 24||Chinese New Year|
|Sunday||March 08||Women’s Day|
|Sunday||April 05||Qing Ming Festival|
|Friday||May 01||Labor Day|
|Saturday||June 20||Dragon Boat Festival|
|Sunday||September 27||Mid Autumn Festival|
|Thursday||October 01||National Day|
|Friday||October 02||National Day Holiday|
|Monday||October 05||National Day Holiday|
|Tuesday||October 06||National Day Holiday|
|Wednesday||October 07||National Day Holiday|
|Wednesday||October 21||Chung Yeung Festival|