Golden Week in China happens biannually, once in January or February to celebrate the Spring Festival and the Chinese Lunar New Year, and once at the beginning of October to celebrate China’s National Day. Everyone that is employed in the country is given three days of paid holiday, and the weekends before and after are rearranged so that workers in Chinese companies have seven consecutive days off.
These national holidays were first started by the Chinese government to encourage travel across the country, thus naturally and organically expanding the domestic tourism market, and to allow for migrant population to travel home and visit their families. This has inevitably led to heightened travel activity over the seven days; regularly over 100 million people take to the road, rail or air at the same time.
National Day in China occurs on October 1st and marks the start of the second Golden Week. It was on this day in 1949 that the People’s Republic of China was officially founded, with a ceremony held in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. However, it wasn’t until 1999 that the holiday was extended to a week.
While the Spring Festival Golden Week at the beginning of the year is typically more family-orientated, the National Day Golden Week has a larger focus and emphasis on travel and holidaying, either within China or further abroad.
Travel is actively encouraged. The Chinese government announced in 2012 that national highways would remain toll free for the duration of the week, allowing people to travel on the roads for cheaper.
Increasingly, more and more Chinese now have the funds to accompany their growing keenness to see the world, and so take the opportunities available to them at Golden Week to journey to the west to visit the US or the UK.
To view Hakkasan’s Golden Week video on VisitBritain, click here.