If you’re staying in China during Spring Festival


For Greater China


Official Dates

Spring Festival begins with the Chinese New Year and ends the night of the Lantern Festival.

According to the lunar calendar, Chinese New YearThe official public holiday is Feb. 7th – Feb. 13th.

Lantern Festival is observed on Feb. 22nd. There is no official day off, but it is also widely celebrated and many companies may work a ½ day or have modified hours.


Info Links

Chinese Holiday Dates for 2015 (dates subject to change)


Chinese New Year and Zodiac


Year of the Monkey Horoscope


Lantern Festival



Travel Tickets

Trains: You MUST provide your passport to any agencies or ticket offices to buy train tickets. This is the busy season for transportation and normally, the earliest train tickets can be reserved is 60 days in advance.

Domestic plane tickets: Tickets are normally full price with very few discounts available.

International flight tickets: Tickets may be discounted from as early as 2 weeks before to 2 weeks after the holiday, and especially within the official holiday dates. Look for discounted fares to other Southeast Asian countries originating from Chinese cities like Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

Plane tickets can be purchased on: www.elong.com (English and Chinese), www.qunar.com (Chinese only), www.ctrip.com (English and Chinese), www.12306.cn (Chinese only, for train tickets)


Vendor Holiday Hours

  • Small retail shops and restaurants – May close for long periods, but many major retail businesses will remain open
  • Supermarkets and shopping malls – Open as usual
  • Hotels and restaurants – Open as usual
  • Movie theatres – Open as usual

 (Expect modified holiday hours on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day)


Vendor/ Service provider delays and price changes

During the holiday season, factories may stop production, small stores may close, and ayis and drivers may return to their hometown to reunite with their families. It is very common for Chinese to save their paid vacation days for Spring Festival. This includes government agency workers. If you have to deal with any government agencies such as visas and customs, be prepared for 1-2 week delays before and after spring festival holidays. This also may pertain to other private industries depending on the company.

This is the heaviest shipping season of the year so expect delays of at least 2 – 4 days.

During CNY, Taxi drivers may ask for a higher price in tier 2 or smaller cities. Starting prices may increase 2-10 RMB more from the original price. It is normal for locals to pay the price increase. Prices can be negotiated as well. Tier 1 cities may not experience this price increase.


Pages that will make your day:

Happy or Angry Ayis and Drivers! How much is enough HONG BAO for Spring Festival?

Spring Festival Safety

Made in China podcast

World famous speaker on Listen, Dr. Mark Goulston

New Leadership master and former US nuclear submarine captain, David Marquet

President of EO, Verne Harnish


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