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China Public Holiday Schedule 2019 — Trippest China Travel Guide

Chinese public holidays in 2019 include New Year’s Day, the Spring Festival, the Qingming Festival, Labor Day, the Dragon Boat Festival, the Mid-Autumn Festival, and National Day. During Chinese holidays, you can experience local culture, taste festive foods, and enjoy the happy atmosphere with the locals. For most travelers, however, Chinese holidays also mean traffic jams, large crowds, and higher prices for hotels.

Is it really that bad to travel during Chinese holidays? Learning the useful Chinese holiday travel tips detailed in this article will help you avoid any travel issues.

Chinese Public Holiday Schedule for 2019

Festival Days Off Note
New Year's Day December 30th, 2018 to January 1st, 2019 The night of December 31st will be very busy in Chinese cities.
The Spring Festival February 4th to 10th Traffic will be very busy before the holiday and at the end of the Spring Festival.
The Qingming Festival April 5th to 7th It’s rainy and can be awkward to travel during the Qingming Festival. It’s a little crowded.
Labor Day Holiday April 29th to May 1st Big Chinese cities will be crowded during the Labor Day holiday.
The Dragon Boat Festival June 7th to 9th A nice example of a traditional Chinese festival. It’s a little crowded during these days.
The Mid-Autumn Festival September 13th to 15th The second most important Chinese festival. It’s a little crowded.
National Day Holiday October 1st to 7th Very crowded and prices are more expensive than usual.

Customs and Travel Tips

You will enjoy the bustling atmosphere and Chinese culture if you happen to experience Chinese holidays during your travels. Cherish these experiences as they will be a special memory from your trip.

1.  New Year’s Day — January 1st

The New Year holiday in 2019 falls on the first day of the solar calendar — January 1st.

Customs and activities:

  • Countdown parties in every city in China. Waiting for the moment that the old year ends and a new year begins with your loved one is exciting and romantic. Young Chinese people like to stay up until the new year has arrived.
  • Have dinner with family or friends. Having dinner is a popular way to celebrate any holiday in China.

Travel tips:

  • The night of December 31st will be crowded. Young people will spend this significant day with friends or loved ones. Book your hotel in advance if you are going to spend this day in China.
  • The New Year holiday in China is in winter, which is a low season for travel. With the exception of January 1st, tourist activities will not be affected by the New Year holiday.

2.   The Spring Festival — February 5th

Picking lucky goods for Chinese New Year
Picking lucky goods for Chinese New Year

As the most important festival in China, tourist experiences are significantly affected by the Chinese New Year. Before Chinese New Year’s Eve, people go back to their hometowns from all corners of China and they will return to the cities where they live and work after the festival.

Customs and activities:

  • Make purchases and prepare for the Spring Festival
  • Paste red, lucky spring scrolls
  • Have a family reunion dinner on New Year’s Eve
  • Stay up late to welcome the new year
  • Give “lucky money” to kids on New Year’s Day
  • Pay relatives a New Year’s visit and chat with them

Travel tips:

  • Book flight tickets and train tickets as early as you can. It seems impossible to get a train ticket if you haven’t booked one in advance.
  • The Spring Festival is in winter. Taking a thick coat with you is essential when traveling in China.
  • It’s a little inconvenient for travelers. Most of the small restaurants and hotels will be closed during the Spring Festival. Supermarkets, big restaurants, and hotel chains keep running during Chinese public holidays.

3.   The Qingming Festival — April 5th

Chinese people have been very respectful of their ancestors since ancient times. The Qingming Festival is a traditional festival to pay respects to their ancestors and sweep their tombs.

Customs and activities:

  • Sweep tombs and worship ancestors. Keeping tombs clean and ensuring the surrounding plants are healthy are the essential activities during the Qingming Festival.
  • Have a picnic with friends. The Qingming Festival is in spring so it is comfortable weather to go out in, whether it’s to go hiking or have a picnic.
  • Fly a kite.

Travel tips:

The Qingming Festival doesn’t really affect travel but it sometimes rains. Don’t forget to check the weather forecast in advance.

4.   Labor Day Holiday — May 1st

Labor Day is not a traditional Chinese festival. The 3-day holiday is a chance for Chinese people to relax. They like to go to the countryside or surrounding cities for a couple of days. Government offices and Chinese companies select laborers who have made outstanding contributions and praise them on this day. It’s a little crowded when visiting attractions. During these days, going to attractions early (before 10am) is a good way to escape the crowds.

5.   The Dragon Boat Festival — June 7th

Dragon Boat Festival
Dragon Boat Festival

The Dragon Boat Festival originated in China and is popular among other Asian countries, including Korea, Singapore, Japan, Vietnam, and Thailand. In ancient times, it was a festival to worship totems by local tribes in the Wuyue area (the Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces). Afterward, the Dragon Boat Festival became a day to commemorate Qu Yuan who was a loyal patriot in Chinese history. He jumped into the Miluo River to commit suicide on this day in history and the sad story moves Chinese people so that they want to keep this great man in their memories forever.

Customs and activities:

  • Hold dragon boat races in South China
  • Hang ay tsao (a kind of Chinese medicine) and wormwood on the fronts of doors to drive away evil
  • Eat zongzi (sticky rice dumplings)
  • Wear sachets contain dry flowers, such as jasmine flower
  • Visit the Temple of Heaven and pray

Travel tips:

The Dragon Boat Festival is very interesting to experience, especially in South China. You can see various activities, such as dragon boat races. You can also taste sticky zongzi during this festival.

6.   The Mid-Autumn Festival — September 13th

Moon cake for Mid-Autumn Festival
Moon cake for Mid-Autumn Festival

Chinese people regard the moon as a symbol of reunions, so when they see the moon, people miss their hometowns and want to return home to be reunited with their families. Seeing a round moon, staying with family members, and eating mooncakes are ideal ways to spend this traditional festival.

Customs and activities:

  • Worship the moon
  • Admire the moon with family members
  • Eat sweet mooncakes
  • Have a reunion dinner
  • Drink wine fermented with osmanthus flowers
  • Watch a tidal bore (not recommended)

Travel tips:

The Mid-Autumn Festival is in autumn. It’s a good time of year to climb the Great Wall in Beijing or enjoy the nighttime view at the Bund in Shanghai. It will be crowded in cities between 4pm and 6pm because Chinese people go back home to have dinner.

7.   National Day — October 1st

Except for the Spring Festival, the National Day holiday is the longest holiday in China. It’s very crowded all over the country. Many Chinese people prefer to travel to other countries rather than staying in China. Before the holiday, city streets are decorated with lights and colorful hangings. If you don’t want to experience any inconvenience while traveling, it’s a good idea to join one of our local tours.

Trippest Mini Group Tours

Whether your time is limited or you just want to experience the most authentic history and culture, Trippest has prepared some boutique tours (mini group tours with no more than 6 travelers) for you:

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