Holidays

Public holidays and their effects vary widely between mainland China and the two Special Administrative Regions, Hong Kong and Macau.

Mainland China

A few years ago the Chinese were finally granted a 2-day weekend. Offices close, but stores, restaurants, post offices, transportation, sights and, in some areas, banks, all operate the same services 7 days a week. Most sights, shops, and restaurants are also open on public holidays, but all offices and anything government-related take as much time off as they can.

Although China switched to the Gregorian calendar in 1911, some public holidays (and many festivals—see below) are based on a lunar cycle, their solar dates varying from year to year. Holidays are New Year's Day (Jan 1), Spring Festival (Chinese New Year and the 2 days following it—see "Peak Travel Seasons," above, for exact dates in coming years), Labor Day (May 1 plus up to 4 more weekdays and a weekend), National Day (Oct 1 plus extra days, as with Labor Day, above).

Hong Kong

Saturday is officially a working day in Hong Kong, although many offices in fact take the day off or only open for reduced hours. Weekend ferry sailings and other transport may vary, particularly on Sunday, when many shops are closed and opening hours for attractions may also vary. Hong Kong gets many British holidays, traditional Chinese holidays, plus modern political ones added after 1997, but in shorter forms. Banks, schools, offices, and government departments are all closed on these dates, as are many museums: New Year's Day (Jan 1), Lunar New Year's Day (for the mainland Spring Festival, but in Hong Kong the day itself plus 2 more, and an extra Fri or Mon if 1 day falls on a Sun); Ching Ming Festival (Apr 5), Good Friday (usually early Apr, plus the following Sat and Easter Monday), Labor Day (May 1), Buddha's Birthday (1 day in May), Tuen Ng (Dragon Boat Festival, 1 day in June), Hong Kong SAR Establishment Day (July 1), Mid-Autumn Festival (1 day in Sept, usually moved to the nearest Fri or Mon to make a long weekend), National Day (Oct 1), Chung Yeung Festival (1 day in Oct), Christmas Day and Boxing Day (Dec 25, and the next weekday if the 26th is a Sat or Sun).

Macau

Macau has the same holidays as Hong Kong except for SAR Establishment Day, and with similar consequences, but with the following variations: National Day is 2 days (Oct 1-2), All Souls' Day (Nov 2), Feast of the Immaculate Conception (Dec 8), Macau SAR Establishment Day (Dec 20), Winter Solstice (Dec 22), and Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (Dec 24 and 25).

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