Official dates for public holidays in 2021
New Year: January 1-3, 2021
Although China follows a different new year calendar, the Chinese government usually allocates a one-day holiday for New Year’s Day as in most countries. This year, January 1st falls on a Friday which therefore stretches the days off until the weekends (January 2-3, Saturday and Sunday.
Spring Festival: February 11-17, 2021
The Spring Festival in China is also commonly referred to as the Chinese New Year period or the Lunar New Year. The CNY typically falls within January or February. This year, the first day of the CNY begins on February 12, and 2021 is the Year of the Ox, following the Chinese zodiac.
Chinese New Year is one of the longest and most important holidays in China. Every year, millions of Chinese travel back home to meet with their loved ones. It is also a time for them to honor their ancestors and observe traditional customs.
Have a look at our article on Chinse New Year Reminder for Businesses
Tomb Sweeping Festival: April 3-5, 2021
Also known as the Qingming Festival, the Tomb Sweeping Festival is a day for visiting the tombs of deceased families and pay respects to ancestors. This year, China cemeteries carried out ‘digital’ tomb sweeping or memorial rituals due to the aftermath of the outbreak of COVID-19 in the country.
Labor Day: May 1-5, 2021
The world usually celebrates Labor Day on May 1st. In China, the Labor Day holidays take place for three days. In 2021, May 1st falls on a Saturday, so the adjustments are made to provide the rest days from Monday (May 3), Tuesday (May 4), and Wednesday (May 5).
Dragon Boat Festival: June 12-14, 2021
The Dragon Boat Festival has been around for over 2,000 years in China. It is a known period for dragon boat racing and the popular sticky rice dumplings called “zongzi”. It is also a time to commemorate the death of China’s national hero, Qu Yuan who protested against corrupt rulers. Villagers tried to rescue Qu Yan from drowning himself by riding a boat to the middle of the river, but it was too late to save him. However, to keep his body from being eaten by fish, the villagers threw rice dumplings into the river.
Countries such as Vietnam and Korea also celebrate the Dragon Festival as a shared cultural heritage.
Mid-Autumn Festival: September 19-21, 2021
Chinese people celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival with ‘mooncakes’ and lanterns. This is one of the most important festivals next to the Chinese New Year. The lanterns are lit to pave the way for luck and prosperity.
The Mid-Autumn Festival is the harvest period coinciding with the day the Chinese believe the moon to be at its brightest and fullest.
National Day: October 1-7, 2021
Dubbed as the Golden Week, China’s National Holidays celebrate the founding of the People’s Republic of China on October 1st. In lieu of the two-weekend breaks around this date, China authorities turned the National Day into a de factor holiday, consisting of seven consecutive days.
This year, more than 600 million people traveled in China during the Golden Week as the country successfully contained the spread of COVID-19 and reported only a few new cases.