Want to be more organized in 2017?
Pro tip: Stop what you’re doing right now and pull out your phone, tablet, planner and desk calendar and mark the upcoming Chinese holidays.
Often, Chinese holidays span more than one day. Being aware of the dates that are affected can help you better forecast your ordering needs and keep from experiencing delays. These dates can also affect business travel so let’s get cracking!
Chinese New Year (Year of the Rooster) January 22 – February 5
If you didn’t plan for Chinese New Year 2017, you’re about five months too late. This festival shuts down business and commerce for nearly a month as employees head to their homes all over the country. Trust us when we tell you to start planning EARLY for Chinese New Year delays. Here's a link to last year's planner to give you an idea of what the forecasting timeline looks like. We will post a similar planner in September 2017. In fact, CNY 2018 takes place from February 15 – 21. Look for reminder blog posts to start as early as mid-August.
Chinese New Year is the big one, but China celebrates other holidays (see below) that can affect your business--
Qingming Festival (Tomb Sweeping Day) April 2-4
During Qingming many families get together to visit the graves of their ancestors, often cleaning the area around their tombs and leaving memorials of paper resembling money, incense and sometimes flowers. It’s also considered a holiday that marks the arrival of springtime, celebrated with picnics, outings and kite-flying.
International Labor Day May 1
Established as a holiday by China in 1949, Labor Day is also called May Day. It is also called International Workers Day. Technically, it’s a one-day holiday, but usually structured as a three-day holiday.
Dragon Boat Festival May 28-30
Yes, dragon boat races still take place during the Dragon Boat Festival. Built in the shape of traditional Chinese dragons, the boats are pulled by teams of rowers. Special foods are eaten, too, including zongzi, a pyramid-shaped rice dumpling wrapped in reed leaves.
Chinese National Day (Golden Week) October 1-8
Chinese National Day is the official celebration of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, though September 21 is the actual date of independence. There are parades, military displays and fireworks. It is a peak domestic travel holiday.
Mid-Autumn Festival/Moon Festival October 4
Mid-Autumn Festival falls within Golden Week. It is a special day to honor the moon, eat traditional moon cakes, and spend time with family and friends.
By putting these dates in your calendar now, you're ahead of the planning curve. And while you're in your calendar mode, plan a time to speak to your customer service representative to find out what their ordering cutoff dates are. You'll be getting your year (and your CSR's year) off to a great start!
Here are a couple other good reads about doing business in China:
About to do business in China for the first time, or maybe need a refresher? Download our tips for mastering Chinese business etiquette: