China’s annual Golden Week is a seven-day holiday that coincides with their National Day, and is their longest public holiday besides the Spring Festival
China’s annual Golden Week is a seven-day holiday that was implemented by the government in 2000. This is China’s longest public holiday besides their Spring Festival holiday, and is not to be confused with the Chinese Lunar New Year Golden Week held earlier in the year.
Coinciding with China’s three-day National Day holiday on October 1, which marks the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the Golden Week is scheduled to connect with the weekend. It allows people time to travel long-distances to visit their families.
This is done by the government primarily to boost the domestic tourism market and improve the national standard of living. This consequently leads to a high volume of people travelling during this period; travel tickets are priced lower and highway tolls are suspended to facilitate traffic.
In 2012, at least 68.5 million people travelled via domestic airlines and railway, and tourism revenue totaled more than US$289 million. According to the Civil Aviation Administration, flight passengers are predicted to increase by 8.3 percent this year, bringing up the number to 7.2 million.
Some Chinese choose to avoid the crowd congestion by travelling overseas to neighbouring countries such as Bangkok, South Korea and Cambodia. To cope with the travel frenzy, Chinese carriers have added 3,800 domestic and international routes to the daily schedule of 12,000 flights.
In celebration of National Day, impressive military parades are held every year at Tiananmen Square, attracting large numbers of tourists. Other celebratory activities such as dance shows, firework displays and painting and calligraphy exhibitions are also held, while shopping malls capitalize on the holiday and entice foreign and local shoppers alike with discounts.
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