What is China’s “Golden Week”?
“Golden Week” is actually two week-long holidays in China. Most countries allow for people to pick and choose their holidays. However, in China, most factories, warehouses and office workers are given their vacation at the same time so that the factory or office can close down completely.
These national holidays were first started by the government for the People’s Republic of China’s National Day in 1999. Primarily they were intended to celebrate China’s nationalism and improve the standard of living by granting more holidays. It also intended to help boost domestic tourism as the extended holiday allowed for people to make long-distance travel plans and family visits.
As a consequence, The Golden Weeks are consequently periods of greatly heightened travel activity. This can often result in chaos, with more than 100 million people hitting the roads, rails and airports over just a few days.
When are the Golden Week Holidays
The first Golden Week in China is Spring Festival. This is celebrated in either January or February and is set around Chinese New Year. The date moves each year because it is linked to the lunar cycle. This is the busier of the two Golden Weeks as almost all migrant workers will make an effort to return to their home town or village and millions of Chinese abroad return home.
The second Golden Week, known as National Day Golden Week, begins in and around October 1st.
Super Golden Week – Oct 1, 2017
While the traditional golden week holiday lasts three to five days, mainland workers will enjoy an extended eight-day break this year starting this weekend, as the National Day public holiday coincides with Mid-Autumn Festival.
A report by China’s National Tourism Administration predicted 710 million domestic and overseas trips would be made during the period, incurring an expenditure of 590 billion yuan (HK$694 billion).
Around 21 per cent would visit Hong Kong, Macau or Taiwan, while 16.7 per cent would travel overseas.
According to Japanese media, the Chinese government has recently curbed the number of tours to Japan, a long-time favourite for Chinese tourists.
Together with a ban imposed on South Korean package tours – in retaliation for Seoul’s decision to deploy THAAD anti-missile defense system earlier this year – Hong Kong is likely to receive more visitors from across the border than in previous years.