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2017 public holiday dates announced – and there's an amazing bonus this year!

Two holidays become one to create a super-long break this year

Liana Kyle
Hear ye, hear ye! The General Office of the State Council has released the official dates of Chinese public holidays in 2017.

The highlight of the calendar is the two periods of the mandated seven-day and eight-day break over Chinese New Year and Mid-Autumn/National Day. That’s 15 whole days for a holiday within/out of China!

A couple of points of note: this year Mid Autumn Festival and National Day are joining forces to give us an unusual eight-day whopper of a holiday with only one make-up day. Elsewhere, Dragon Boat Festival is kicking off a little earlier this year, over the last weekend of May.

Here's the full rundown of the holidays we are all looking forward to:

New Year’s Day

31 Dec-2 Jan (three days)
We can hear all Westerners breathing a sigh of relief – not having to take days off to celebrate the hangover holiday means we can projectile vomit up all the Mojito Man we drank to drown the atrocity that was 2016 in the privacy of our own homes without having to squander precious personal leave days and thus feel guilty about wasting resources – genius! Healthier and more boring types (yes, we're still in high school – losersssssss) can go on this Great Wall hike and, y'know, not drink themselves into catatonia and actually benefit from their days off.


Chinese New Year

27 Jan-2 Feb (seven days), make-up work days 22 Jan (Sun) and 4 Feb (Sat)
Two options here: either dig out your best firework-dodging shoes and least flammable hat and spend the week moping around an empty city like you're Cillian Murphy at the beginning of 28 Days Later, or join the exodus to warmer climes and tacky Full Moon Parties in Southeast Asia. At least there's temple fairs.

Tomb Sweeping Festival

2-4 Apr (three days), make-up work day 1 Apr (Sat)
You might not know what it is (Rejected Elvis Costello song? Some kind of organised cleaning race?) but you really should get on board with qingmingjieit's one of the most poignant holidays on the Chinese roster. Ring your nanna and tell her you love her, you awful person.

Labour Day

29 Apr-1 May (three days)
American pals, you're actually allowed to wear white after this one. It's maybe not the best idea, what with all the splattery noodles around, but it's not going to make you a social pariah.


Dragon Boat Festival

28-30 May (three days), make-up work day: 27 May (Sat)
It's like the Cambridge-Oxford Boat Race, but with less Hooray Henrys braying in your ear and baiiju in spades instead of lukewarm Pimms. Join in or just gorge on zongzi – after all, it's traditional. Everybody say rargh/raaaahhhh!

hol blog

Mid-Autumn Festival/National Day

1-8 Oct (eight days), make-up work day: 30 Sep (Sat)
Mooncakes! This is a huge deal, people! Eight whole days off in one chunk with only one stinking 'make-up day'. Get booking that Asian escape now – airfares are sure to skyrocket soon.

Want to see those dates in calendar form? Check this out – coloured dates are holidays (hooray!) while grey ones are make-up work days (boo!). Now excuse us whilst we get down to planning our leave days strategically...

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