Holidays refer to times of enjoyment and reuniting with friends and families and China is no exception. It is a country rich of heritage and traditions and splendid festivals occur throughout the year.
An interesting feature of China’s cultural festivals is that their date is determined by the lunar calendar and so they keep changing every year.
In case a holiday falls on the weekend which are anyways non-working days for the Chinese population then the next working day is also declared a holiday so that the people can enjoy better.
The list of China’s bank holidays 2017 is a group effort by the members of 123NewYear to bring to its respected readers a compiled list of holidays over the year with their respective dates and a brief idea about its traditions and history as well as an overview of how people in China celebrate these holidays.
Here’s a list of China’s bank holidays in 2017:
|Holidays in China||Date||Description|
|New Year’s Day||2nd Jan 2017||As New Year’s Day falls on a Sunday, (1st January 2017) the holiday is extended till Monday for the people to enjoy wholeheartedly. This is the 1st day of the year according to the Gregorian calendar and people in china like the rest of the world celebrate it with great pomp and splendor. Even though it’s not their traditional new year, they enjoy this day partying, having sumptuous meals and having fun with near and dear ones. This day is also called ‘Yuan Dan’ where Yuan means beginning and Dan means day.|
|Chinese New Year’s Eve||27th January 2017||“This day is the eve to one of the most important and longest festivals of Chinese communities all throughout the world. The most crucial dinner for the people of China is the New Year’s Eve or better known as reunion dinner during which serving fish is a must. In Northern China, dumplings are given utmost priority. The reason being fish and dumplings signify prosperity for the rest of the year. It is also believed by the Chinese that fireworks drive away evil. So right after 12:00 AM on new year’s eve fireworks are launched to welcome the coming year. The houses are also given a thorough cleaning and decorated with lanterns, year paint, paper cutting, door gods etc.|
|Chinese New Year||28th January 2017||“This day marks the first day of the New Year in the Chinese Calendar which predates the Gregorian Calendar. It is also known as the Lunar New Year as this day is celebrated on the first day of the Lunar month in accordance with the traditional Chinese calendar. It is also known as the Spring Festival as it falls between the December Solstice and the March Equinox. The Gregorian calendar is followed for daily chores and events but traditional festivals are followed according to the Chinese Calendar. Each year of the calendar is represented by a zodiac animal sign. The signs repeat every twelve years as there are twelve zodiac animals. There are various activities performed during the Chinese new year like offerings to household deities, hosting grand banquets for friends and family and enjoying as well as taking part in lion and dragon dances in festive parades. Also common is wearing new clothes with the color red predominating as this color is believed to symbolize happiness, good luck, success and prosperity. The children in the family are given ‘red packets’ or red envelopes with money in them by the elders of the family which is believed to ward off evil and give them a healthy life. Houses are decorated with flowers especially with Plum Blossom (signifying courage and hope) and the Water Narcissus (signifying good luck and fortune). The main doors are kept open so as to let good luck in and tangerines and oranges are also stores at homes as symbols of luck and wealth. Thus, the Chinese New Year is a treasure chest of traditions and customs passed down generations among the people of China.|
|Women’s Day||8th March 2017||“Along with the rest of the world, China celebrates the International Women’s day on 8th of March every year since 1975. This day is celebrated to pay a tribute to all the women in the world for all the sacrifices and hard tasks they undertake for their families. On this day, all the women employees of China get a half-day holiday from work and like to spend that time with their loved ones. Women receive special treatment on this day like shopping trips or a day at the spa or a day off household chores or breakfast in bed. Taking them out for dinner or lunch on this day is also a very important responsibility of the opposite gender.|
|Ching Ming Festival||5th April 2017||” Also known as the Qing Ming festival, it is a traditional Chinese festival that takes place on the first day of the fifth solar term of the Chinese lunisolar calendar. During this festival, the Chinese people visit the Columbaria, graves and burial grounds of their ancestors to remember and honor them. Often the tombs are swept and items like food, tea, wine and chopsticks are offered to the ancestors and thus another name of this festival is Tomb-Sweeping day. This holiday is also associated with the consumption of food like ‘qingtuan’ green dumplings made of glutinous rice and barley grass which is known as ‘caozaiguo’ in Taiwan. On this day, people in china also celebrate the on-set of spring and activities like spring outings, kite flying and firework displays are prevalent. According to traditions people tie willow branches on gates and front doors as doing is said to ward off evil spirits. In some places people have the custom of using no fire and eating only cold food on this day. The traditional eateries of this 2500 year old festival are peach blossom porridge, crispy cakes, Qingming snails and eggs.|
|Labor Day||1st May 2017||“Better known as May Day, this is an international public holiday in most of the countries around the world including China. This day celebrates the essence of the dawn of spring as well as pays a tribute to the achievements and hard work of workers all over the world. On this day all the workers get a day off work to relax and spend some quality time with loved ones. This day has its origins in the efforts of the union workers in the 1880’s to improve the economic and social conditions of workers. Traditionally, the customs of May Day symbolized the concept of rebirth of nature as well as human fertility. Thus activities like crowning a May queen, dancing around a decorated tree or pole (May Pole) and gathering flowers and branches are also common.|
|Dragon Boat Festival||30th May 2017||” This is a traditional festival occurring near the summer solstice on the 5th day of the 5th month of the Chinese calendar and hence an alternative name of the festival is Double Fifth Festival. As the Chinese calendar is lunisolar in nature, the date varies from year to year. History dates back to the death of Chinese poet and minister Qu Yuan (340-278 BC) who had committed suicide by drowning himself in the Miluo river when his country had been captured by Qin. It is believed that the local people who admired him had gone out in their boats to save him or retrieve his body at the least. It is said they scared the fishes away from the body with boats that had fronts designed like dragons. This is the origin of dragon boat races in China. A traditional dish called Zongzi made with wild rice leaves to wrap millet flour dumplings in the shape of ox horns and then cooked in bamboo is eaten during the dragon boat festival. During this festival, it is a highly favorable time to acquire diseases and plagues and hence people of China especially the children make incense bags and hang them on their necks to keep away diseases and other evils. Incense bags are made from powders of calamus, wormwood, realgar and other fragrant items and are hung in homes too to purify the air and keep away pests.|
|National Day||1st October 2017||“The National Day of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is celebrated as the National Day in China as the PRC was founded on October 1st in 1949. In ancient days, the national day was celebrated when an emperor ascended the throne or was born. This holiday continues for seven consecutive days from October 1st to the 7th and is also known as the golden week. On this day, there is a special flag raising ceremony exactly at sunrise in the Tiananmen Square. During the Golden Week, around 70k people climb the great Wall at Badaling each day. There are firework displays and light shows held in the cities by the government and shops attain the highest profit of the year during this week.|
|Mid-Autumn Festival||4th October 2017||“This festival is celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month and is a traditional harvest festival. It is also called the moon festival because the celebrations are carried out under the full moon as well as because of customs like moon worship and moon gazing. This festival highlights three concepts: 1) Gathering of family and friends for harvesting crops as the full moon signifies family reunion, 2) Thanksgiving to pay thanks to the harvest and 3) Praying for a good future or a spouse or baby etc. Today, the festival is celebrated eating and sharing typical lotus bean-filled moon cakes symbolizing completeness and reunion. Also, brightly lit lanterns are carried or blown in the sky as well as lion and dragon dances are performed in several countries of south China.|
|Chung Yeung Festival||28th October 2017||“This festival is observed on the 9th day of the 9th month of the Chinese calendar and hence it’s also called the Double Ninth Festival. Folk people have the tradition of climbing a mountain on this day which started during the East Han Dynasty and so it’s also called Height Ascending Festival. The term double ninth also signifies ‘forever’ and ancestors are worshipped on this day. People eat Chongyang (Five-Color) Cake which is a nine-layer cake shaped like a tower on this day. On the top of the cake, two sheep are made from flour and a small red flag is also placed. Drinking Chrysanthemum Wine is also prevalent during this festival as well as hanging Zhuyu branches on doors and windows to ward off evil.|