Like it is with traditions in Europe, holidays in China are a time of rest and family gatherings. The grandest celebrations are on holidays completely unknown in the western world. Most of the events fall on different dates each year, which might be disorienting and should be checked ahead of time. This article will discuss what holidays are celebrated in China in 2022, taking into account days off work.
Most Important Holidays in China
Dates of traditional Chinese holidays were set following the lunisolar calendar; therefore, they fall on different dates each year in the Gregorian one. Many of the holidays have been celebrated for centuries and find their roots in ancient legends. Among the most significant are Chinese New Year, Qingming Festival, Dragon Boat Festival, and the Mid-Autumn Festival.
New federal holidays were also introduced in the 20th century, and in their case, the date is consistent every year. Labour Day and National Day of the People’s Republic of China are considered the most important. Additionally, New Year’s Day, so January 1st, is also a day off for Chinese people, although the holiday is not actively celebrated.
List of China Holidays 2022
Chinese New Year 2022
Date: February 1st, 2022
Days off: January 31st – February 6th, 2022
Chinese New Year, also called Spring Festival (Chunjie), is the most important holiday in China. By law, only seven days are considered days off work; this is when we can expect stores, banks, offices, and companies to be either open fewer hours or entirely closed. However, according to tradition, the celebrations last two weeks. The Lantern Festival (February 15th, 2022) marks the end of the celebration period.
For many families, the holiday is the only opportunity of the year to spend time together; hence the period is characterized by large migrations between provinces. Because of this, most factories stop working for more than a week. Make sure to check out our guide on preparations for New Year celebrations in China.
Some of the many Chinese New Year traditions are decorating places with red lanterns and other ornaments, making jiaozi dumplings, firework shows, lion and dragon dance performances, and exchanging red envelopes with money inside.
Date: April 5th, 2022
Days off: April 3rd – 5th 2022
Qingming Festival is the traditional Chinese Memorial Day. It is held during spring, and its primary purpose is to commemorate the ancestors. To do so, families clean graves and make offerings to the dead, often by burning objects made of paper (e.g. fake money or smartphones). Later comes the unofficial part, which is a family dinner and playing outside.
Date: May 1st, 2022
Days off: April 30th – May 2nd, 2022
Labour Day is a well-known international holiday, first created to commemorate workers. Its main components are the official celebrations, which often include awarding distinctions and government officials’ participation. For citizens, it is mainly a chance for rest and traveling.
Many decide to take trips during this holiday, which should be considered when planning a stay.
Dragon Boat Festival
Date: June 3rd, 2022
Days off: June 3rd – 5th 2022
Dragon Boat Festival finds its beginnings in the legend of the patriot Qu Yuan, who, after being sentenced to exile by hostile officials, decided to jump into a river. The local people looked for his body in the water, throwing food into the river to distract the fish that could eat Qu Yuan’s body. It is how still present traditions of watching dragon boat races and eating zongzi, rice wrapped in bamboo leaves, came to life.
The holiday is celebrated on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month, so it should be checked when exactly it falls on a given year.
Date: September 10th, 2022
Days off: September 10th – 12th 2022
Mid-Autumn Festival (Zhongqiujie) is the second most important Chinese holiday after the New Year. It is closely connected to the moon, more specifically the legend of Chang’e. She was a woman who heroically drank her husband’s immortality potion to prevent his student from stealing it. Because of her decision, she rose to the heavens and started living on the moon. Her despairing husband made offerings to her new place of stay on the fifteenth day of every eight lunar month as he saw his beloved’s shadow there. Soon the local people joined him, and the Mid-Autumn festival began.
In the modern-day, Zhongqiujie is mainly a chance to hold family get-togethers and talk about the relatives who live far away. The moon and its round shape are symbols of unity in China, which is where the tradition of eating mooncakes, round and large rice flour cookies, comes from.
More and more Chinese people decide to spend the Mid-Autumn Festival with their families, which is recommended to be included in our business calendars.
National Day of the People’s Republic of China
Date: October 1st, 2022
Days off: October 1st – 7th, 2022
National Day (Guoqingjie) is the most important federal holiday in China. It commemorates the creation of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. Official celebrations are held on October 1st, which annually include parades.
The week after the National Day is the so-called Golden week, seven days intended for relaxation and traveling. It is the most tourism-oriented period in China. At this time crowds, high hotel prices and low availability of public transport tickets should be expected.
During the holidays, many companies and institutions work differently than usual. That is why all trips to China around their time should be planned, taking days off work into account. Another crucial thing to remember is that all Chinese holidays, except for federal, fall on different dates every year.
We also recommend checking out our calendar of the 2021 China holidays.