Holidays & Vacation During Q1 in China 2023

January 9, 2023
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2023 is here, and the Chinese New Year (CNY) is just around the corner. It’s the time of the year when companies doing business in China should start to think about their strategies for 2023’s Q1. Check out this brief guide we made for you with important information and tips to help you prepare for Q1: holiday dates, days when business activities come to a standstill, Logistics implications on the supply chain in China, workforce, and more.

National Holidays in China

If you are doing business in China, you should know that there are seven official national holidays in China, 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 during the two significant holidays, 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 Shopping events in China

In recent years Chinese shopping events have become very popular. E-Commerce Shopping events are 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 for foreign and domestic businesses. 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 2023 China Calendar:

Holidays, Vacations, and Celebrations in China’s 2022 Q1

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Here is a summary of holidays and vacations in 2023’s Q1, and some recommendations for how to best manage around them:

December 31st 2022 – January 2nd, 2023 – (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 3rd

January 21st – January 27th, 2023 – Chinese New Year (Chūnjié)

Total vacation days: Seven (Known as the “Golden Week”)
When local employees resume work: January 28th

If there is one holiday you should prepare for, it is for CNY. CNY is of most importance in Chinese culture. This holiday is also known as the “Spring Festival” because it marks the end of the winter and 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.

Do not take this lightly. Get ready with this guide for Chinese New Year 2023

2023 is the year of the rabbit in China. The luckiest of all the animals.

February 5th, 2023 – Lantern Festival (Yuánxiāo jié)

Maybe the most beautiful holiday out there, we always love the time of the year when lanterns light up and flood the streets in red. The Lantern Festival is observed 15 days after the CNY and marks the final celebration of this period. 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’s 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, 2023 – International Women’s Day (fù-nǚ jié)

In the past, the significance of this holiday was to remark on and acknowledge the progress and accomplishments women have made in economics, politics, culture, and society. But, in today’s e-commerce era, this holiday has changed into a shopping and marketing opportunity. In contemporary China, this holiday resembles a fusion 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.

Bonus – Holiday right at the beginning of Q2:

April 5th, 2023 – Tomb-Sweeping Festival (qīng míng jié)

Even though this holiday is at the beginning of Q2 we recommend knowing about it in advance. Tomb-Sweeping Festival is a Chinese Remembrance Day honoring their ancestors. During the festival families flock to their ancestors’ tombs and clean them, while a ceremony is held at the same time, burning carton figurines of cars, cellphones, and fake money to send to their ancestors in the “next world”. This act shows how committed Chinese families are to their ancestors, and how important it is for them to take care of them even after they have passed. This holiday is celebrated in China for over 2000 years and has many forms all over Asia, in countries like Thailand Singapore, South Korea, and more.

For smooth supply chain management during CNY – preparation ahead of time is key

Every year we take the time to remind our clients about the importance of this period for the business. This year’s first quarter and particularly the weeks surrounding CNY (the last weeks of January) are a unique period that contrasts with the usual rapid pace of business proceedings found in the Chinese market. During these weeks, 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 should prepare ahead of time and draw out a calculated supply chain management strategy. Read more about how to Optimize Your Supply Chain Management in CNY 2023.

We wish you a successful year. Good luck!

PTL Group

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