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Holidays in China: how do they work exactly?

As every country has different bank holidays, China is no different. Some of its holidays follow the lunar calendar, which means they will change the date every year. Let’s see the calendar.

Bank Holidays in China

New Year: 1 January
Chinese New Year: between January and February (for around 7 to 10 days). Its name is also Spring Festival since it starts on the first day of Spring according to Lunar calendar
Qing Ming Jie: from 4 April to 6 April. Translated as Tomb Sweeping day. Since 4 has a very similar sound to death in Chinese, the fourth day of the fourth month reminds of those who live no more.
Labour Holiday: from 1 to 3 May
Duanwu Festival: translated as the Dragonboat festival. It is celebrated on the 5th day of the 5th month of Lunar calendar, generally in June.
Mid Autumn festival: from 1 October to 8 October. Also known as the Golden Week.

Other special days

Sometimes, even if a holiday is not, officially, a bank holiday, it is still celebrated and it is therefore important. Countless stores seize the chance to prepare discount and special offers according to the meaning of the holiday, and lots of people will prepare for lots of shopping:
Valentine’s day: on 14 February
Women’s day: on 8 March
Qi Xi: on 25 August, it’s Chinese Valentine’s Day
Single’s Day: on 11 November
Christmas: on 25 December

Compensation of holidays

In China, when holidays last for many days, it is common to request both students and workers to “compensate” the holiday by working one or two days more in the weekend before the holiday period. This “last effort” will be able to balance the long holiday period. That’s especially true if holidays connect to the weekend, making a 3 days holiday become a 5 days one.

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