Every year on October 1 people in China will celebrate the Chinese National Day, a time to remember and commemorate the founding of the People’s Republic of China on October 1, 1949. Chinese people will have a 7-day holiday during this time, a week that is often referred to as “Golden Week.”
As one of the biggest holidays in China, more than 160 million people travel during this week, a number that is increasing every year. Most Chinese people will either visit family members or take a trip. Many businesses, restaurants, embassies, and government offices will close for this holiday time.
If you’re looking to join the Golden Week fun, there are many dance performances, firework displays, calligraphy exhibitions, and flag-raising ceremonies held all across China. Many shopping malls will offer big discounts, and there are lots of fun parades to watch.
Every year there is a special Flag Raising Ceremony at sunrise in Tian’anmen Square. If you happen to be in Beijing you can attend this special event – but make sure to get there early, because there tends to be a large crowd, especially in nice weather.
With so many people traveling, these will book quickly and if you wait too long they might sell out. Flights are generally more available, so it’s recommended to travel by air if possible.
Learn more about traveling by train in China and how to buy train tickets.
These two days will be the most crowded! Try to book tickets before or after these days.
Most people will travel to famous tourist attractions like the Panda Centers in Chengdu or the Terracotta Warriors in Xi’an. Big cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Qingdao are also popular destinations to visit.
If you want to travel during the National Week it is recommended you go to a less popular place to avoid the crowds of people. Xinjiang Province, Inner Mongolia, Western Sichuan Province, and Beihai are all beautiful sites that draw less people during the National Holiday.
There will be large crowds at public transportation hubs throughout the entirety of Golden Week. Make sure you arrive early to give yourself enough time to go through security and pick up your tickets (if needed).
Whether you’re traveling, shopping, or joining a special National Day tradition, the Chinese Golden Week offers a unique opportunity to take part in one of China’s most special celebrations!
Read more about other holidays in China HERE.