These bank holidays are the official holidays that are observed in China or the Peoples’ Republic of China. However, the dates for these holidays are not exactly predictable, so you need to make sure to have a good list that is simple and will allow you to follow.

The Wall Street Journal had once called the holiday pattern in the country as “notoriously complicated”. China is a country that is full of rich heritage and culture and this means that there are many different customs and traditions that are followed in different parts of the country.

However, all of these don’t make the list for national holidays and the list of the holidays for the country has been revised and changed numerous times. Currently, the General Office of the State Council takes to announcing the holiday some 3 weeks before the New Year starts.

This is because the traditional celebrations in the country are determined by the Lunar calendar and this means that calculations need to be done in order to coordinate the Lunar dates with those on the modern day calendars. Another interesting thing is that when the holidays land on a weekend, then the following weekday is swapped out to be a holiday. This is done to allow the employees to enjoy the holiday and to give them lengthier periods of vacation so that the festivals can be enjoyed without having to stress out.

Here is the list of the Chinese bank holidays to make everything easier for you.

  • New Years Day – This is the day that is celebrated as the New Year for the modern calendar and they celebrate it with lots of pomp. This day is also called as “Yuan Dan” since Yuan translates into beginning, while Dan translates into day.
  • Chinese New Year Eve – On this day the homes are given the final spring cleaning touches and the altars located in the homes are also fully cleaned. The most important tradition that is observed on thisi particular day is the Reunion dinner, which is when the family meets and eats some symbolic food and prays for a safe path to the New Year. This meal is often held at the house of the oldest member of the family where the entire family comes together.
  • Chinese New Year – This day is celebrated on the 1st day of the Lunar month according to the traditional Chinese calendar. It is also called the Spring Festival and is the longest holiday in China and the celebrations and preparations take weeks to undertake and to enjoy. The traditions and customs during this time are extremely elaborate, but during this time people clean and decorate their homes, put on new outfits, consume symbolic dishes, watch or participate in the Dragon Dance, visit with friends and family and give and receive gifts. Also, during this time the elders gift the younger generation money that is put into a red envelope since red is believed to be the color of prosperity.
  • Women’s Day – This holiday has been celebrated since 1975 and this holiday is also celebrated by the rest of the world. This is the day were all women are given a half day off of work and the children are encouraged to do small acts to show that they respect their mother. Also, on this day the women get help from the other family members with their chores. During this modern age, it is also a custom for the women to be taken out for dinner with their family.
  • Qing Ming Festival – This holiday is also called the Pure Brightness Festival and Tomb Sweeping Day. It is celebrated during the first week of April, at least according to the current calendar. This day is one of the 24  solar terms that are followed by the Chinese people and this also when the spring season  starts in the country. The temperatures start to get warmer and rainfall is heavier during this time, which makes it the perfect time to plow and sow the fields, which comes from the agrarian culture of the ancient Chinese for finding out the perfect time time for the various agricultural activities. This weather would bring prosperity and bounty in the coming year and this is also thought to be a significant holiday. It isn’t only a day to recognize the transitions between seasons, but it is also a day to pay tribute to the dead ancestors. On this day most of the people will sweep the tombs of their ancestors while enjoying the outdoors. Other traditional customs include the flying of kites.
  • Labor Day – May 1st is celebrated as the international Labor Day in China and this is the day were tributes are paid to the working class for their major contributions to the economy. It is also the time when they remember the Labour Union struggles when fighting for human rights, decent working hours and set wages.
  • Dragon Boat Festival – This is celebrated on the 5th day of the 5th month of the Chinese lunar calendar that is followed in the country. This festival has been a crucial part of the celebrations in the country for over 2000 years and this is the day that they uphold their dedication to China. This festival is the day when they pay tributes to Qu Yuan, who is a poet that lived from 340-278BC. He was extremely patriotic and had decided to become a martyr rather than live and see his country captured by anyone else. During this time the Chinese people make sure to take care of their health and are reminded of what they can do to keep the diseases away. This holiday gets its name from when the poet had drowned in the river, the village people had rowed their boats to save him and the fronts had been shaped like a Chinese dragon. This act is commemorated through the Dragon Boat competition that is organized and it is thought that the winner will bring prosperity and bounty to their native village. They also eat plenty of symbolic dishes at this time, including Zong Zi, which is rice that is wrapped in bamboo or reed leaves and shaped to look like a Pyramid. Also, people think that if fragrant pouches are given to the children to don on this day, then they will have protection from any evil eyes. This is also the time when numerous diseases hit the country, so they also customarily clean their houses completely and hang medicinal and fragrant herbs in order to keep the pest out and to purify the incoming air.
  • Mid Autumn Festival – This day is held on the 15th day of the 8th month on the Chinese lunar calendar and the name comes from the simple fact that it is held during the middle of the autumn season. This is also called as the Moon Festival since it is believed that this is the time when the moon is the brightest. They will also refer to the Moon for any required calculations since they believe that the seasonal changes are closed tied to the numerous transitions that the moon makes along with the harvest. During this time they pay tribute to the Moon and eat some symbolic dishes, including the Moon Cake, which is also sacrificed to the Moon. After they are offered to the Moon, they are then eaten as a main part of the celebrations. The circle shape that is given to the Moon Cake is symbolic of the Full Moon and it also represents the reunion of the family members. People give others hampers full of the Moon Cake during this time as a way to wish them happiness and for a long life.
  • National Day – This day has been celebrated in the current connotation since 1950 since the National Day of the People’s Republic of China had been declared in 1949. However, the celebrations that are held on this day date back to the Western Jin Dynasty, which went on from 265 AD until 316 AD and in the ancient times they celebrated this day since it was the day that the Emperor had ascended to the throne. It also celebrates the birthday of their Emperor and now the holiday is celebrated on October 1st of every year. The holiday is for 7 days and there are plenty of activities that are planned during this time all over the country. This is also called the Golden Week and it is held from October 1st until the 7th and this is the time people go traveling and indulge in shopping.
  • Chung Yeung Festival – This holiday is held on the 9th day of the 9th month of the Chinese lunar calendar and it is also called the Double Ninth Festival. This holiday dates back before 25 AD and it has been celebrated since the East Han time period. Also, this date is an inauspicious one because 9 is thought to be the yang number. During this time everyone climbs various high places in order to avoid danger and people typically visit various hill stations, organize outings and picnics in hilly locations and hike mountains. They will also don particular plants, including zhuyu or chrysanthemum since they are known to have cleaning properties. They also eat the Chongyang cake, which is the symbolic dish for this time and they will visit their ancestors’ grave to pay tribute.

List of 2016 Bank Holidays in China


Day of the Week Date Holiday
Friday January 01 New Years Day
Saturday January 02 New Year’s Holiday
Sunday February 07 Chinese New Year Eve
Monday February 08 Chinese New Year
Tuesday February 09 Chinese New Year
Wednesday February 10 Chinese New Year
Thursday February 11 Chinese New Year
Friday February 12 Chinese New Year
Saturday February 13 Chinese New Year
Tuesday March 08 Women’s Day
Monday April 04 Qing Ming Festival
Sunday May 01 Labor Day
Thursday June 09 Dragon Boat Festival
Thursday September 15 Mid Autumn Festival
Saturday October 01 National Day
Sunday October 02 National Day Holiday
Monday October 03 National Day Holiday
Tuesday October 04 National Day Holiday
Wednesday October 05 National Day Holiday
Thursday October 06 National Day Holiday
Friday October 07 National Day Holiday
Monday October 10 Chung Yeung Festival