No matter if we consider private or strictly business matters – contact with the Chinese people requires knowledge of and familiarity with Chinese customs. The intricacies of Chinese etiquette and different social relations models can pose a challenge, but even at the stage of scheduling, discrepancies may arise. When people around the world sit down at their Christmas dinners, life in China moves at a regular rate. Nonetheless, the Chinese calendar offers many opportunities to celebrate. Below is a list of China holidays in 2021, with particular reference to public holidays.
China holidays 2021
Since the dates of Chinese holidays are based on the lunar calendar, they take place every year at a different time of the month or even move between two different months. Below we present a list of Chinese holidays in 2021.
Chinese New Year 2021
Public holiday dates: 11-17.02.2021
The most sumptuously celebrated holiday is undoubtedly Chinese New Year (also known as the Spring Festival 春季 Chunjie). The New Year period lasts about 2-4 weeks and ends with Yuanxiaojie (元宵节), the Lantern Festival. In 2021 it falls on February 26.
Every Chinese person wants to celebrate the Chinese New Year with their family. Thus, passenger transportation just before and after the Spring Festival increases dramatically: on the roads, on the rails, and in the air. This means increased not only traffic and crowds, but also a rise in the prices of tourist attractions and accommodations.
In 2021 the days from February 11 to 17 will be public holidays. During that time, shops, banks, offices, firms, as well as some restaurants, will work short hours or will close completely. We recommend not planning any meetings and booking travels well in advance.
The Tomb-Sweeping Day (the Qingming festival)
Public holiday dates: 3-5.04.2021
Ancestor worship occupies an important place in Chinese culture. The Tomb-Sweeping Day (清明节 Qingming Jie, literally a Clean and Bright Festival) is an opportunity to visit cemeteries and clean up the graves of late relatives. The holiday’s solemn overtone is compensated by the spring aura, which the Chinese appreciate in parks and city gardens. Popular leisure activities include flying kites.
During public holidays, offices and banks are closed.
Labour Day 2021
Public holiday dates: 1-3.05.2021
Unlike some other holidays, Labour Day always takes place on May 1. If the weather is good, many Chinese people use their days off to travel and explore different parts of the country. Depending on the executives’ decision, some firms might extend the holiday for their employees.
China holidays 2021: Dragon Boat Festival
Public holiday dates: 12-14.06.2021
The origins of this festival go back to the 3rd century BC. That was when a poet, a huge patriot, and a poetry lover Qu Yuan lived. He was outspoken about political issues, which led him to fall out of favor and banishment. He couldn’t stand the corruption of Chinese officials and threw himself into the Miluo River. According to a legend, peasants tried to find his body by investigating it from their boats. Those events initiated the tradition of dragon boat racing. In order to feed the poet’s soul (or to distract hungry fish), the peasants threw balls of rice with a filling into the water. Eating zongzi, a glutinous rice dish, is now a tradition strictly connected to the Festival.
The Chinese Dragon Boat Festival (端午节 Duanwu Jie) falls on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month, so it’s a different date every year.
Public holiday dates: 19-21.09.2021
Mid-Autumn Festival’s genesis can be traced to an emperor’s custom. The emperor worshipped the sun in summer and the moon in autumn. He was accompanied by his entourage, and with time this practice gained popularity among the people. The Mid-Autumn Festival (中秋节 Zhongqiu Jie) is also connected to thanking for bountiful crops.
During this festival, the Chinese eat mooncakes filled with bean paste or another filling. They are round, just like the moon. The Chinese people associate the round shape with unity.
Chinese National Day (Golden Week Holiday)
Public holiday dates: 1-7.10.2021
In China, the first week of October is the so-called Golden Week. The National Day commemorates the People’s Republic of China’s foundation on Tiananmen Square by Mao Zedong on October 1, 1949. This date started a whole new era in modern Chinese history.
It is a very popular period among tourists; hence, just as in the Spring Festival case, we recommend planning any journey in advance or choosing a different date. Shopping malls and shops are open during the Golden Week, but companies, offices, universities, and factories are closed. The number of days off encourages the Chinese to go back to their family towns and travel, so it is the second most hectic time of the year after the Spring Festival.
If you cooperate with Chinese companies, remember to keep in mind the dates of China’s public holidays in 2021.