Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Chinese Holidays

In answering a client's question about holiday schedule in China...

There are actually three big holidays in China every year.  The biggest and longest one is the Chinese New Year.  The other two are: Labor Day in May and National Day in October.  Officially, the latter two is a three-day holiday.  But unofficially, it is a bit longer. 

The worst part is the disruption and discontinuity.  Not so much the actual holidays themselves, but the fact that the Chinese government move weekends around to string a two or three day holiday into a week-long super break for its citizens.  While this is fine for domestic businesses, since everybody will be on-and-off at the same time, it is very disruptive for international trading. 

For example, if the three-day holiday starts on Tuesday and goes through Thursday, the government would have people work on the previous Saturdays and Sundays so that they can take Monday and Friday off.  This would mean the citizens get a seven-day holiday schedule instead of three.  Make sense?  This is what the Chinese government called: China-styled Socialism.

In any event, the two minor holidays starts around the first of the month in May and October, and officially, the holiday is a three-day break.  But do expect a possible one or two days shift before or after the designated three-day holidays.  Every year is different, and the schedule is not announced until a week or two before the actual holidays.  So stay tuned, we’ll keep you updated as we get closer.