New Year’s Eve is just around the corner, and the Chinese New Year (CNY) is also fast approaching. It’s at this time of the year, that international companies doing business in China should start to think about their strategies for 2022’s Q1. Check out this brief guide on the Chinese holidays in Q1 with insights worth their weight in gold: holiday dates, days when business activities come to a standstill, the holiday’s impact on logistics in China, and more.
Holidays in China are celebrated according to the lunar calendar. Many of them are deeply rooted in ancient Chinese culture, and they are very family-oriented. There are seven official national holidays in China, as well as several so-called “e-commerce holidays”:
- The two most significant holidays are the Spring Festival in Q1 and the National Holiday in Q4. Officially, employees in China get a week-long vacation on each holiday, but in reality, business slows down way before the holiday and continues after it for a couple of weeks.
- The other five national holidays are New Year’s Eve, Tomb Sweeping Day, Labor Day, Dragon Boat Festival, and Mid-Autumn Festival.
- “E-Commerce” holidays are already commonly known worldwide, with the most popular one being China’s Singles’ Day. On these mass shopping days, local consumers flood the Chinese e-commerce sites, which offer huge sales and discounts, providing an excellent commercial opportunity to foreign and domestic consumer goods producers. Other e-commerce holidays include International Men’s Day, Chinese Valentine’s Day, Father’s Day, etc.
Be mindful that every year, the Chinese government replaces several workdays where there are holidays with weekend workdays, to compensate for the lost workdays. Every year, we at PTL Group issue an updated calendar with all the relevant information. You are welcome to download the 2022 China Calendar:Our services assist international companies in the Chinese market. Contact us
Here is a summary of the holidays in 2022’s Q1 and our recommendations for how to best manage around them:
January 1-3, 2022 – (New Year’s Day, Yuándàn)
Although most of the Chinese holidays are celebrated according to the local calendar, China also celebrates the New Year according to the Gregorian calendar.
Total vacation days: Three
When local employees resume work: January 4th
January 31 – February 6, 2022 – Chinese New Year (Chūnjié)
Total vacation days: Seven (Known as the “Golden Week”)
When local employees resume work: February 7th
The Chinese New Year is one of the most important holidays in China. This holiday is also known as the “Spring Festival” because it marks the end of the winter the beginning of the spring. Due to its significance, the Chinese market comes to a halt almost in its entirety during this seven-day holiday. Around this holiday millions of Chinese people travel across the county to reunite and celebrate with their families, which results in heavy traffic on the roads and trains before and after the Golden Week holiday.
Fun fact: The Chinese New Year is a family-centered holiday. It’s a time where family members gather for a traditional and festive dinner. One common custom is to eat fish as a blessing for a prosperous year (the Chinese words for fish and abundance sound similar to one another). It is also customary to clean the house thoroughly and to give gifts. The guiding principle is to celebrate in any way that summons good luck and expels bad luck. Read more CNY recommendations for foreign managers in China.
2022 is the year of the Tiger in China
February 15, 2022- Lantern Festival (Yuánxiāo jié)
The Lantern Festival is observed 15 days after the CNY and is the final celebration of this period. It is one of the most beautiful nights of the year, primarily because of the many lanterns that light up the night skies. The lanterns are usually red-colored and come in a variety of shapes. The traditional food for this festival is Tangyuan- a sweet and colorful ball-shaped rice dessert. The holiday commemorates an ancient legend about a beautiful and precious crane that local villagers hunted. The furious emperor wanted to burn their village down, but based on the emperor’s daughter warning, the villagers hung red lanterns on each house, lit fires in the streets and shot flares in the air. Eventually, the trick worked – the emperor assumed the village had burned down and ordered his army to retreat.
March 8, 2022- International Women’s Day (fù-nǚ jié)
In today’s e-commerce era, this holiday has long lost its original purpose – to acknowledge the progress and accomplishments women have made in economics, politics, culture, and society. In contemporary China however, this holiday resembles an amalgamation of Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day, which ultimately translates into more consumption. Foreign brands that market products and services for women are advised to plan ahead and seize this commercial opportunity. On this day, it is also customary to show appreciation towards female employees. Read more about selling health & beauty products in Chinese e-commerce.
Logistical preparation is key to smooth supply chain management in CNY
The year’s first quarter and particularly the weeks surrounding CNY (the first week of February) are a unique period that contrasts with the usual rapid pace of business proceedings found in the Chinese market. During these months, everything slows down, factories lower their output, and employees take long annual leave. Even when compared with Western periods of slowdown like Christmas or Easter, it’s astounding to compare the rate at which the Chinese economy slows over the New Year Period.
Companies doing business in China must prepare ahead of time and draw out a calculated supply chain management strategy. Read more about logistics preparations for CNY 2022 and about logistics services in China.
We wish you a successful year. Good luck!