Posted in Working in Beijing

2009 Chinese Holidays

holidayI didn’t get the memo from HR but if you’re planning your holidays or trips this year, try to veer away from the dates below as it would either be difficult to go around or the scenic spots are full of tourists.  Also, employees should take note when you need to go to work and when are the real holidays.

  • New Year: January 1-3, 2009.   Not much happening in BJ as this is not one of the major holidays.  Employees are expected back to work on January 4 (Sunday).
  • Chinese New Year: January 25-31, 2009.  The most important holiday for Chinese.  Bus station, train station and airports will be swamped with people a week before the big day.  Sale abound throughout the city as presents are expected to be given to relatives.  Girlfriend/boyfriend for hire ads grow rampant to appease the parent’s desire for their children to marry.  Employees need to make up two days to complete the seven days on January 24 (Saturday) and February 1 (Sunday).                              
  • Qing Ming Festival (Tomb sweeping Day):  April 4-6, 2009.  Traveling to the countryside will be difficult in the mornings and coming back to the city will be difficult in the afternoon.  The Chinese pay respect to their loved ones who already departed.  Expect some fireworks to drive away evil spirits.
  • Labor Day: May 1-3, 2009.  This holiday used to be 7 days but starting last year they changed it to a 3 day holiday to give way to more holidays which are important to Chinese.
  • Dragon Boat Festival:  May 28-30, 2009.  Dragon boat races and Zhong zhi (sticky rice in triangular shape) dominate this festival.  Employees are expected to report back to work on May 31 (Sunday).
  • National Day & Mid-Autumn Festival: October 1-8, 2009.  This year’s Mid-autumn festival falls on October 3 which is part of the National day holidays.  Mooncakes are the main gift for this holiday.  Expect a lot of people travelling as instead of the regular 7 day holiday, this year there’s eight days.  Employees are expected to report for work on September 27 (Sunday) and October 10 (Saturday) to make up for October 7 & 8.

For employees, better start preparing when you want to combine your annual leaves to maximize your holidays.  For me, I’ll definitely use it during the National Day holidays to combine with my birthday!


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